Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
November 7, 1997
Explanation: Gravity can do more than floor you. According to recent measurements of a star system thought to contain a black hole, it can spin you too. This effect, called frame-dragging, is most prominent near massive, fast spinning objects. Now, a team led by W. Cui (MIT) has used the orbiting Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer to search for it near a system thought to contain a black hole. Cui's team claim that matter in this system gets caught up and spun around the black hole at just the rate expected from frame-dragging. Such discoveries help scientists better understand gravity itself.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.