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Milky Way Cosmic Wind Clocked At Record Speed!

  • Ghost32
  • uploaded: Feb 23, 2012
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BY LOGAN TITTLE

A curious cosmic wind is clocking record speeds in the Milky Way. It's from an object called IGR J17091-3642—but we'll just stick with "black hole." Here's KPTV-

"NASA says the black hole has set an intergalactic wind speed record. It is a stellar mass black hole. Which means it is only considered medium-sized..."

How fast does does interstellar wind have to go to set a record? A writer for Forbes gives us the black hole's stats.

"...despite its small size, it produces fearsome winds of ionic gasses near its disk. Winds that astronomers have clocked at 20 million miles per hour -- or about 3% of the speed of light."

That's a serious need for speed. A writer for Space.com says those numbers put the relatively tiny black hole in the big leagues.

"[The black hole's] wind matches some of the fastest generated by supermassive black holes, which are millions or billions of times more massive."

But how does a black hole create wind? Aren't they supposed to be giant vacuums? One of the researchers told The Register black holes draw material around them into a disk shape, and that's where the wind is actually coming from.

"Contrary to the popular perception of black holes pulling in all of the material that gets close, we estimate up to 95 percent of the matter in the disk...is expelled by the wind."

With all the new discoveries surrounding black holes lately, scientists are getting closer to figuring out how they work. A blogger for the Inquisitr says this new black hole is one more piece of th­­e puzzle.

"Observing the unusually fierce wind patterns around this particular black hole has given astronomers a better understanding of how black holes operate in general."

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