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Black holes move at 1/10 of the speed of light

Black holes move at 1/10 of the speed of light

Recoil from collision

Robert Klatt

Collisions of the black hole create a massive bounce that accelerates the new body to extreme speeds.

Henrietta (USA). In astronomy, it was previously assumed that black holes can “only” reach speeds of about 5,000 kilometers per second. According to a publication at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), mathematicians in Physical review letters It is now determined through computer simulations that black holes, which are formed as a result of the collision of two black holes, can reach much faster speeds. So the theoretical upper limit is 26,677 ± 470 km/s, which is about nine percent of the speed of light (299,792 km/s).

Black hole collisions have been studied for several years using gravitational wave detectors, among other things. Since it was known that a body formed from the merger of two black holes can reach huge speeds due to the recoil, scientists have been searching the universe for similar examples.

Outliers of black hole collisions

In addition, theorists have tried to calculate the maximum values ​​for such collisions between black holes. The prevailing hypothesis was that the speed of rotation of the two black holes primarily determined the force of the recoil and thus the maximum speed of the emerging new body. The study just published by RIT confirms this assumption, but shows that speed is also affected by other factors.

The simulations, by astrophysicists James Healy and Carlos Lusto, include more than 1,300 collisions with widely varying angles of impact. In contrast to previous studies, the focus here was more on instantaneous collisions than on long-term mergers in which bodies initially orbit each other. The strongest reaction force is found in direct and very close collisions. Such an event could happen, for example, when two black holes orbit a third one from opposite directions and collide.

Physical Review Letters, doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.131.071401