The quasar is known as RX J1131-1231, located about 6 billion light years from Earth. The authors of the new study found that the X-rays are coming from a region in the disk located only about three times the radius of the event horizon, the point of no return for infalling matter. This implies that the black hole must be spinning extremely rapidly to allow a disk to survive at such a small radius. The discovery that the black hole in RX J1131 is spinning at over half the speed of light suggests that this black hole has grown via mergers, rather than pulling material in from different directions.
Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ of Michigan/R.C.Reis et al; Optical: NASA/STScI
#chandra #hubble #hst #science #nasa #blackhole #quasar
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