Famous Binary Cygnus-X1 Displays First-Ever Polarized Emissions

Article written: 24 Mar , 2011
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
by

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Using the IBIS telescope onboard the European Space Agency’s INTEGRAL satellite, researchers have reported the first measurements of polarization from a black hole binary system, which comprises a black hole and a normal star orbiting around a common center of mass.

The new observations reveal that the chaotic region is threaded by magnetic fields, and represent the first time magnetic fields have been identified so close to a black hole. Most importantly, Integral shows they are highly structured magnetic fields that are forming an escape tunnel for hot matter that would otherwise plunge into the black hole within milliseconds.

Credit: ESA, courtesy of Philippe Laurent

Philippe Laurent is a researcher with the Institute for Research into the Fundamental Laws of the Universe (IRFU), of the CEA in France. He is lead author on the paper, which appears today in Science Express.

Laurent and his colleagues detected polarized gamma-ray photons coming from Cygnus X-1 (19h 58m 21.6756s +35° 12′ 05.775″), a well-known black hole X-ray binary system in the constellation Cygnus. They suggest the polarized emission is originating from a jet of relativistic particles in close proximity to the black hole.

The graph above refers to the team’s results: “whereas the low energy photons seem not to be polarized (the inset line at the left is merely flat), the higher energy ones are strongly polarized (the inset line in the right seems to be sinusoidal), and thus should related to the jet,” Laurent wrote in an email.

The authors reveal more detail through the paper: “Spectral modeling of the data reveals two emission mechanisms: The 250-400 keV data are consistent with emission dominated by Compton scattering on thermal electrons and are weakly polarized,” they write. “The second spectral component seen in the 400keV-2MeV band is by contrast strongly polarized, revealing that the MeV emission is probably related to the jet first detected in the radio band.”

Their evidence points to the black hole’s magnetic field being strong enough to tear away particles from the black hole’s gravitational clutches and funnel them outwards, creating jets of matter that shoot into space, according to an ESA press release. The particles in the jets are being drawn into spiral trajectories as they climb the magnetic field to freedom and this is affecting a property of their gamma-ray light known as polarization.

A gamma ray, like ordinary light, is a kind of wave, and the orientation of the wave is known as its polarization. When a fast particle spirals in a magnetic field it produces a kind of light, known as synchrotron emission, which displays a characteristic pattern of polarization. It is this polarization that the team have found in the gamma rays. It was a difficult observation to make.

“We had to use almost every observation Integral has ever made of Cygnus X-1 to make this detection,” says Laurent.

Amassed over seven years, these repeated observations of the black hole now total over five million seconds of observing time, the equivalent of taking a single image with an exposure time of more than two months. Laurent’s team added them all together to create just such an exposure.

“We still do not know exactly how the infalling matter is turned into the jets. There is a big debate among theoreticians; these observations will help them decide,” says Laurent.

Jets around black holes have been seen before by radio telescopes but such observations cannot see the black hole in sufficient detail to know exactly how close to the black hole the jets originate. That makes these new observations invaluable. Such polarization measurements can provide direct insights into the nature of many astrophysical processes and the researchers say that, in the future, their discovery could further our understanding of the emission mechanisms of Cygnus X-1, a model for other black-hole binaries in the universe.

Source: Science. The paper appears today, at the Science Express website.


65 Responses

  1. iantresman says

    The article mentions “We still do not know exactly how the infalling matter is turned into the jets”. What is the evidence (a) for the matter (b) that it is infalling?

    • DrFlimmer says

      There is matter circling the black hole which can be revealed by Doppler measurements and other techniques. Closer to the black hole it circles faster than in the outskirts. Therefore, friction and magnetic fields will eventually drive matter into the black hole.

      However, since these magnetic fields are also trapped in the accretion disk, they swirl around the black hole and form narrow channels around the rotational axis. Some particles (that need to escape the disk due to conservation of angular momentum issues) get accelerated into these channels and form the matter of the jet.

      This is the basic idea, which is still a field of very active research.

      • iantresman says

        Is anything else known about this matter? My first thought was to compare with the matter in a solar system, but I guess we’re considering galactic material such as stars themselves and the interstellar medium.

      • DrFlimmer says

        Since this is a binary system containing a black hole and a star, the matter the black accumulates is, of course, stellar material, whatever that may mean. It should consist mostly of hydrogen and helium, since they are most abundant in the stellar atmosphere which is sucked in first. I’m not sure if any core material gets ever close enough to the black hole (depending on the stars distance to the black hole).

  2. iantresman says

    LC wrote: “It should be pointed out that the magnetic field is not directly associated with the black hole. The only way that can happen is if the black hole is charged and rotating.”

    Won’t the ions in the (net electrically neutral) black hole generate a magnetic field just because they are rotating, similar to a star? I’m not suggesting that it is responsible for the jet’s magnetic field, which I agree, would be self-generating.

    • Lawrence B. Crowell says

      It is best to think of what happens to a particle or anything which approaches a black hole as seen by a stationary observer outside the black hole. A particle, or a string in string theory, as it approaches a black hole has its longitudinal direction or mode Lorentz contracted. The transverse modes expand out and cover the event horizon. As a result positive and negative charged particles have their quantum wave functions distributed over the event horizon. The result is that one can’t localize the charge of either on the horizon. Consequently there is no charge distribution on the horizon that is observable and the black hole then has no observable currents. Consequently there is no magnetic field which exists with a black hole that has no net charge or is electrically neutral.

      LC

      • iantresman says

        Before close approach to the black hole, there must be significant rotating ionized matter. It doesn’t all fall in radially? Wouldn’t that generate magnetic fields?

      • DrFlimmer says

        How long and how often do we discuss these things here? I guess, more than once the answer has been given. So one more time:

        Yes. (With all the other consequences…)

      • iantresman says

        Sorry, I don’t recall having discuss the material around and outside a black hole before.

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        There is a very simple answer to this deception.

        According to
        You said 2006 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3APlasma_cosmology/Archive_8; “That “postulated spherical cloud of comets”? (Funny how there are so many postulated gravitational objects, black holes (postulated), neutron stars (postulated), Oort cloud (postulated), Accretion disc (postulated))”

        So the reason why you don’t talk about accretion disk, or know anything about them, is they are only “postulated.”

        Based on the PC/ EU mantra, even today, like your other fellow nutters, you just still believe accretion disks are unobserved and mythical.

        Five years later, and yet you still don’t know?

        Bit of a screwball, methinks!

      • Lawrence B. Crowell says

        What you suggest is the accretion disk itself. For a nonrotating Schwarzschild the event horizon occurs at r = 2GM/c^2, G = gravitational constant, c = speed of light and M the mass. The Schwarzschild radius for a solar mass black hole is around 1.5km. Stable orbits occur for r > 3GM/c^2, where anything at a smaller radius is drawn to the black hole and while it can be accelerated away, this body can’t exist in a stable orbit. For the most part the accretion disk exists at r > 3GM/c^2 and out as far as r = 1000GM/c^2. At 500 or 1000 times the Schwarzschild radius of a stellar mass or 10 solar mass black hole the gravitational pull would be around 10^6 times that of Earth’s gravity. It would be described largely by Newtonian gravity, with small general relativistic effects. It is in this region where the magnetic field is generated.

        Once something falls within 3GM/c^2 there is no stable orbit possible and the body falls further inwards. A distant observer would see anything in this situation approach the event horizon and its emitted light become very redshifted. Clocks on this material (the frequency of emitted photons serve as a clock) slow to near zero. As a result you would never see anything actually pass through the event horizon. There are some interesting effects from the spacetime physics, such as the spreading of any particle or material wave function or distribution around the event horizon. This in effect neutralizes any charge distribution and gives an apparent uniform distribution of charge on the event horizon, as seen by a distant or stationary observer outside the black hole. A 10 solar mass black hole would be electrically neutral.

        LC

  3. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    It should be pointed out that the magnetic field is not directly associated with the black hole. The only way that can happen is if the black hole is charged and rotating. Charged black holes are not likely to occur, since charges tend to neutralize each other at large. The magnetic field is most likely generated by the accretion disk. The different transport properties of protons and electrons in a plasma generates large currents which have magnetic fields associated with them by the Maxwell-Faraday equation.

    LC

    • Member
      Aqua says

      Only non-rotating or Schwarzschild black holes do not have mag. fields. A black hole that has a field but no spin is called a Reissner-Nordstrøm black hole. One that has both a magnetic field and spin is called a Kerr black hole.

      Given all is theory, but it appears that black holes may come in many flavors and can indeed have very high Gauss mag. fields associated with them…

  4. DrFlimmer says

    Ah, jets. Interesting objects 🙂

    Btw: The source-link to scienceexpress.org misses a g at the end!

  5. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

    What a very silly question by someone who already rejects the actual existence of black holes.

    Look at the given graphic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Clearly the matter feeding the accretion disk is from the visible companion, with the infall being caused by the gravitation of the “black hole”. Particles in the accretion disk are losing energy (angular momentum) in the disk mostly due to fields being generated by the disk. This is the source of the infall.

    According to the poster of this question, he believes; “The Plasma Universe is agnostic on the existence of black holes, proposing that well-known laboratory plasma physics and electromagnetic forces are responsible for certain cosmic phenomena that others attribute to black holes and their gravity.

    So accordingly, this same commenter already thinks that black hole are the cause of the magnetic field is the black hole itself and/or the accretion disk.

    What is so hilarious here, is that Cygnus X-1 is a known binary star, whose orbital motion of both stars set 30 million kilometres apart. This sets a specific limit on the “black holes” size and mass. Orbital motion, by the simple laws of gravitation shows that it is 8.7±0.8 solar masses, whose event horizon is about 26 kilometres across. As for the accretion disk, it is 15,000 kilometres across.

    But oh no… Of course this is all wrong! It is some form of hocus-pocus mythical electromagnetic-magnetic phenomena. Just nutso.

    The posing of this question by this individual here is devious at best. He is basically and desperately looking for any premise to support that black holes are manifested by the mythical pseudoscience known as the plasma universe (PC/EU).

    Pretending to be under the PC/EU mantra “as a curious observer” just hides the nature of the foolishness. Please, stop all this pretending to be an unknowing innocent little lamb when we know who is really central to the problem. Fool.

    • iantresman says

      Excuse me for being so stupid. The given graphic is not labelled, there is no scale, there is no directional information, it is not clear what connects the two objects together (is it a beam? a disc edge-on? is it light? matter? both?)

      But thank you for your astonishing insight, and I only wish that one day I was as clever as you.

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        You’re excused.
        Matter is flowing from the large star to feed the accretion disk orbiting the black hole. Gravitation is a bugger.

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        Let’s talk about the EU/PC mantra here on accretion disks…

        According to Scott Thomas’ “Lightning, Sticky Tape, and Black Hole Observations – Part 1” [Jan 07 2010]

        “It is important to note that no one has observed a black hole. There’s an X-ray source that’s been mapped to a location in the sky. Everything else: black holes, accretion disks, that’s all interpretation. Ignore the artist’s conception in the report for a moment and understand what is really being observed here.
        There’s an X-ray bright spot that flickers in X-ray wavelengths, and that is assumed to be a black hole with an accretion disk (because that was assumed in another paper by someone else). As it happens, there’s an optical counterpart (something seen in the same location in the sky in visible wavelength) for this X-ray source. So we see a bright spot in optical and we see a bright spot in X-ray. These bright spots “shimmer” in X-ray and optical light in about the same place in the night sky. So be careful with these artist’s conceptions of accretion disks and so on. No one has seen that.”

        This is exactly what you believe, isn’t it?

        My worrying question is this…. You have been on many discussion pages on accretion disks (associated with black holes) and have argued the same points as Wilson here. [Just goggle “iantresman accretion disks”, and you get a whole lot of references. Why is that?] Yet now you claim you an innocent little lamb, and you poor dear doesn’t understand the graphic!!!!

        Oh please. Stop treating us all as if we are stupid!

        Prove that : “The article mentions “We still do not know exactly how the infalling matter is turned into the jets”. What is the evidence (a) for the matter (b) that it is infalling?”

        Proving my earlier stated point ;”The posing of this question by this individual here is devious at best. He is basically and desperately looking for any premise to support that black holes are manifested by the mythical pseudoscience known as the plasma universe (PC/EU).”

        “Guilty, me lad!!”, said the judge. ….and he walks away, with his tail now tucked between his legs.

      • iantresman says

        Sorry, I don’t know Scott Thomas, or Wilson, let alone what they’re discussing, and nor am I responsible for their views, and this doesn’t seem the place to discuss them. But please feel free to continue to hijack other people’s articles, make up anything you want, and draw any conclusion you want.

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        Again. Yet according to you when you said this in 2006; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3APlasma_cosmology/Archive_8; “That “postulated spherical cloud of comets”? (Funny how there are so many postulated gravitational objects, black holes (postulated), neutron stars (postulated), Oort cloud (postulated), Accretion disc (postulated))”

        So the reason why you don’t talk about accretion disk, or know anything about them, is they are only “postulated.”
        Wilson reads article reads virtual the same as your views?
        Is this not a unreasonable conclusion that you agree with this even now?

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        Let’s quote your own website, here?

        “The Plasma Universe is agnostic on the existence of black holes, proposing that well-known laboratory plasma physics and electromagnetic forces are responsible for certain cosmic phenomena that others attribute to black holes and their gravity.”

        Again. This agrees with Scott Thomas and now you.

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        I wrote; “Wilson reads article reads virtual the same as your views?”
        Sorry. I meant Scott Thomas not Wilson.

      • Olaf says

        iantresman, you do realize that your trials to sneak in PC/EU by pretending that you ask questions out of curiosity in an attempt to guide the answers to an PC/EU outcome is very obvious. Especially when you already know the answers yourself.

        And I am going to do a prediction. Next article that contains the word Plasma/Black hole, you will again use the exact same questions you find here, just slightly different wording. It will start off with just a question, and every response you get you will try to change your question so that the people responding will use the word plasma and charge and magnetic fields more and more. This is a technique used by creationists and completely unscientific.

        Your technique is a creationists technique because you want to manipulate the people to an outcome you already decided that it must be, ignoring all evidences screaming that your outcome is completely wrong.

      • iantresman says

        I am astonished at some of the claims made by some of the editors here. I am further gobsmacked at the extent to which people will try and smear any comments I make with allegations of pseudoscience and creationism, even more laughable when you consider that these are not scientific descriptions, and are used in a pseudoscientific context themselves.

        I am interested in plasma, and with over 99.999% of the visible universe made of the stuff, and a significant proportion of astrophysics based on plasma physics, it shouldn’t come as any surprise if I mention it once in a while.

        You and other editors here are clever. So why not demonstrate your knowledge of astronomy and science and note if I use it in an improper or incorrect context in my posts, without having to resort to conspiracy theories, making sweeping comments, or pretend to know what I think or believe.

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        “…pretend to know what I think or believe.”
        That’s really funny. I quote you own words and that is pretending?

        As for the rest of the diatribe… Fraudsters need to be exposed for what they are. You have an organised agenda, along with a number of others individuals to promote plasma universe / plasma cosmology theories, under the umbrella of ThunderBolts.Info.

        They say at http://www.thunderbolts.info/aroleforyou.htm;

        “In your communications, please be sure that, unless you have developed specific strategies with Thunderbolts management, you not identify yourself as a member of the Thunderbolts group, but as a curious or interested observer.”

        This is applies to YOU adopting there mantra, with your past behaviour and comments supporting this tenant.

        I’m more astonished that you continue to pled the ‘victim card.’ Your part of the problem. You are not the solution.

        As with the accretion disk information, you know more than your letting on. (I’ve already shown conclusively from your own words that you think “(Funny how there are so many postulated gravitational objects, black holes (postulated), neutron stars (postulated), Oort cloud (postulated), Accretion disc (postulated))”

        Now you don’t deny or confirm the existence of accretion disks, but instead you are now ‘astonished’ ‘gobsmacked’ at comments here! In the end what is so ‘laughable’ is you think you can pull the wool over everyones eyes and think you’ll get away with it. Frankly, they say, a leopard doesn’t change it’s spots. I’d have too concur.

      • iantresman says

        It’s just like McCarthyism. Please, stick to the science, and you wouldn’t have to hide behind a muppet.

      • iantresman says

        “you don’t deny or confirm the existence of accretion disks”

        I am sorry, I didn’t know that I was the final arbiter. There is much evidence for accretion discs.

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        Avoiding question(s) is the classic way of not facing the truth or losing the argument. Victim or not, you are already on very shaky ground. All you do showing us now is that you are not a straight-shooter; mostly hiding behind ambiguous tautology.
        Bottom line. You don’t believe black holes exist as gravitationally collapsed stars, nor do you believe in accretion disks around such objects. Why can’t you simply confirm or deny this?

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        No. Accretion disks are no longer theoretical “assumed” or “postulated”. They are both testable and have been observed and/or deduced by many different techniques. Too many examples exist that it could be a manifestation of a different phenomena. To say they are “assumed” or “postulated” is clearly a falsehood.

        As for being an arbiter, it is clear you are far away from being an ultimate authority that you pretend to be.

        (i promise not to let on to you EU/PC friends that you “There is much evidence for accretion discs.” They might throw you out from that little band of renegades!)

  6. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

    According to the arxiv article released today by Yunes, N. et.al entitled; “Imprint of Accretion Disk-Induced Migration on Gravitational Waves from Extreme Mass Ratio Inspirals.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1103.4609

    “Accretion disks are efficient at extracting orbital angular momentum from the extreme mass-ratio binary. The SCO [stellar-mass compact object] torques the disk gravitationally, inducing spiral density waves that carry away angular momentum. In planetary disks, the same phenomenon leads to migration of planets towards their parent star. Planetary migration has been classified into different types (determined by disk parameters, the EMRI’s [Extreme mass ratio inspirals] mass ratio and orbital separation) to distinguish circumstances where a gap opens around the planet (Type-II) from those without a gap (Type-I). In EMRIs, migration becomes the dominant source of angular momentum transport at separations ~100M⊙ [Solar Masses], where M⊙ [Solar Masses] is the SMBH mass.”

    The same principles also apply, except on a smaller scale, to objects like Cygnus X-1.

  7. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

    According to Frank, A., Gardiner, T.A., “The Magnetic Geometry of Pulsed Astrophysical Jets” http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0004388

    “Accretion disks are believed to play a key role in the physics of jet launching. Infalling, rotating matter is stored in these disks until dissipation allows material to spiral inward and feed the central, gravitating object… The current consensus holds that the these fields are the agents for producing jets in a process known as Magneto-centrifugal launching. In this mechanism, plasma in the disk is loaded on to co-rotating field lines. If conditions such as the inclination angle of the field are favorable and a sufficient amount of energy is available, the plasma is centrifugally flung outward along the field lines. As the field is dragged backwards by the inertia of the plasma, strong toroidal field components are generated which collimate the outflow into a narrow jet. We note however that the external medium might also help focus the outflow. This process has been studied in detail by many authors both analytically and through numerical simulations.”

    • Lawrence B. Crowell says

      For black hole it can’t be any other way. The event horizon does not carry to the outside world information (except in extremely redshifted forms and with quantum mechanics etc) about things like a charge distribution which went into it. The accretion disk must be the current source for the magnetic field and the change in gravitational potential of matter as it falls into the black hole the driving energy source.

      LC

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        Bit confused. Are you referring to the Frank article or my previous comments?

        Yes. the disk is certainly the source of the jets, and this has been discussed on several occasions with UT Articles. MHD in accretion disks are not very well understood in many circumstance in which they are observed. Yet I do know PC/EU haven’t anything more interesting to add.

        An earlier reference related to this story is by Jean Tate “World-wide Campaign Sheds New Light on Nature’s “LHC”” http://www.universetoday.com/59416/world-wide-campaign-sheds-new-light-on-natures-lhc/

        Jean quotes;

        “This new understanding of the inner workings and construction of a blazar jet requires a new working model of the jet’s structure, one in which the jet curves dramatically and the most energetic light originates far from the black hole. This, Madejski said, is where theorists come in. “Our study poses a very important challenge to theorists: how would you construct a jet that could potentially be carrying energy so far from the black hole? And how could we then detect that? Taking the magnetic field lines into account is not simple. Related calculations are difficult to do analytically, and must be solved with extremely complex numerical schemes.”

        I’d recommend readers here to examine this UT article.

        Thanks for the comment.

  8. DrFlimmer says

    Do I need to label this as Off Topic?

    Glacier’s melting in the dead of night
    And the superstars sucked into the supermassive [black hole]

    Muse – Supermassive Black Hole

  9. iantresman says

    Rob Fender at Southampton University seems to have done a lot of work on Cygnus X-1, and he has a lot of pretty pictures and links from his home page. His paper at arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0508228 has a nice picture of the jet (page 13).

    What is the “chaotic region” referred to in the UT article. It mentions only that it is close to the back hole, but does it have a more defined region?

    • Lawrence B. Crowell says

      It is close by the standards of astronomical resolution. This is still far from the actual event horizon.

      LC

    • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

      This link says; “Jets somehow magically remove matter, energy and (probably) angular momentum from the gravitational potential wells of accreting objects.”

      This is actually quite wrong. We see the blue star, we see the accretion disk, we see the black hole, we see the jets. Yet somehow, this is somehow this is all “magic.” (Probably just a rather poor choice of words, and the reason you latched onto this link.) Also the angular momentum is clearly mostly lost through the accretion disk itself (which you think don’t exist, nor want to deny that they exist); by the magnetic field of the disk, that in turn affect the black hole’s spin.

      In actuality, the whole issue seems to me to be the spin of the black hole itself. In the paper linked on this site ( http://www.astro.soton.ac.uk/~rpf/paper51.pdf ), concludes;

      (i) One or more of the methods used for estimating jet power or velocity are in error
      (ii) One or more of the methods used for estimating black hole spin are in error
      (iii) Jet power and/or velocity are not related to black hole spin

      “This paper is not setting out to argue that black hole spin does not, in some cases, affect the power or speed of jets formed by that black hole. However, current estimates of all three parameters (spin, jet power, jet speed) of black hole X-ray binaries show no evidence for a strong relation between them.”

      Sound like more investigations are required into the science. (I note that it is never suggested that “‘black hole doesn’t exist” — that you see to want as proof to support your own crazy notions.)

      Nice try, but no cigar.

      Note: IMO, the only “chaotic region” that appears here, in your own linked “Plasma Universe” website! You pseudoscience beliefs are clearly quite faulty.

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        Correction: Sound like more investigations are required into the science. (I note that it is never suggested that “‘black hole doesn’t exist” — that you seem to want as proof to support your own crazy notions.)

      • iantresman says

        “We see the blue star, we see the accretion disk, we see the black hole, we see the jets. Yet somehow, this is somehow this is all “magic.” (Probably just a rather poor choice of words, and the reason you latched onto this link.)”

        I latched onto the link because it came from a real scientist doing real research into Cygnus-X1, who has more credibility than someone who claims they can see black holes. Oxymoron springs to mind.

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        Ah yet another avoiding slight.
        Who here claims the “see” black holes? I never did! We know they are black holes by the mass and the radii, obtained by the orbital positions of the star and the compact massive component. Only an idiot would suggest you could see the black hole that is only kilometres across at several thousand light-years.

        Do you lie straight in bed?

        One thing for sure. I have far more credibility than the muck you try and rake!

      • iantresman says

        Sorry, I thought you wrote “we see the black hole”.
        And “Only an idiot would suggest you could see the black hole “

      • iantresman says

        “My point was mostly if we do see the consequences of the parts. I.e. blue star, accretion disk, black hole, and jets, then how can this be “magic.”

        Just because I see the consequence of a car drive past, doesn’t necessarily mean that we understand how it works, especially when people argue whether it combustion engine, or perhaps a jet engine.. and it turns out to be an electric car.

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        Let’s quote exactly what I said now;
        This link says; “Jets somehow magically remove matter, energy and (probably) angular momentum from the gravitational potential wells of accreting objects.”

        This is actually quite wrong. We see the blue star, we see the accretion disk, we see the black hole, we see the jets. Yet somehow, this is somehow this is all “magic.”

        I was referring directly to the comment, which you conveniently avoid.
        So yes we do “see” the gravitation signature of the black hole. My point was mostly if we do see the consequences of the parts. I.e. blue star, accretion disk, black hole, and jets, then how can this be “magic.”
        It not.

        (Did you ever pass comprehension at school?)

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        Ok. I get your drift. You didn’t pass comprehension at school.
        So much for the quality of the British education system!

  10. iantresman says

    “I note that it is never suggested that “‘black hole doesn’t exist” — that you seem to want as proof to support your own crazy notions”

    Where on earth do you get these notions from? There is clearly evidence supporting black holes. But if you think you can see them, I think a Nobel Prize beckons, or psychic of the year.

    • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

      Brilliant! You still can’t either confirm or deny anything. According to what you have said in the past, and on you crazy website, you think black holes are electromagnetic phenomena and are not a consequence of gravitational collapse.
      Gee whiz! It is like getting blood out of stone with you!

  11. iantresman says

    “you think black holes are electromagnetic phenomena”

    Er no. They are clearly gravitational.

    “You still can’t either confirm or deny anything”

    Personal beliefs (a) are prohibited by the site rules (b) beliefs have nothing to do with science. I don’t know whether there are black holes, and if you do, then well done, and perhaps you should direct your rhetoric at the astrophysicists who have been trying to get confirmation over the last 50 years or so.

    • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

      Personal beliefs? What personal beliefs? More meaningless tautology from a practiced master of total deniability or deliberate deceptions!

      Actually. Why are you so obsessed with rules and authority? Were you badly or regularly beaten as a child in some boarding school in Great Britain or something? (its looking more and more of an diversionary excuse to avoid scrutiny!)

      As for the ridiculous “astrophysicists who have been trying to get confirmation over the last 50 years or so.” The evidence shows black holes exist without doubt. This has been known for the last decade or more. Where have you been living, man! Under a rock or just hiding in your Faraday cage too long?

      Yet hear you now say black holes “are clearly gravitational.” Genius! How do you think we know how heavy they are or what size they are? If the object is above 2.5 to 3.0 solar masses and are kilometres across, the the gravitation is so strong light cannot escape. Bingo, we have a black hole! (Did you not know black holes were predicted before they we found?) Do you think of things you do not think about?

      From the evidence from your insane EU site (http://www.plasma-universe.com/Black_hole), your evidence for black holes (or actually the lack of) you quote the ancient works of disproven and antiquated notions of Peratt, Alfven and Bostick — ‘authorities’ of IEEE papers between 1984-1986!!
      Your just living in the past, man!

      We also see your real dilemma here and why “You still can’t either confirm or deny anything.” If you do your silly arguments collapse into a complete mess of doggy-doo.

      • iantresman says

        I can see the headlines in Astrophysics Journal now:

        Salacious B. Crumb says “Your silly arguments collapse into a complete mess of doggy-doo. [..] I have far more credibility than the muck you try and rake!”.

        Can I quote you on that.

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        Good luck with that. (You’ll distort it into something the means something else.) Stupid does what stupid does.

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        The usual debate when it comes to black holes with individuals like iantresman is they play the game of denial so that a small fraction of novices might be swayed by their specious arguments.

        However, there some time comes a time to blow these guys out of the water and hit ’em with a crippling blow.

        There is an interesting Science News article entitled “Black Hole Found in Binary Star System: More Than Five Times Greater in Mass Than Our Sun” at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110325082725.htm

        This item was release AFTER my comment above (March 27, 2011 at 7:07 am) and talks about X-ray binary system XTE J1859+226 in Vulpecula discovered details by observations the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC). The author published in the MNRAS (Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, an astrophysicist named Jesús Corral Santana, states the following;

        To quote from the article; his words);

        “…measuring the mass of compact objects is essential to determine what kind of object it may be. If it’s greater than three times the solar mass, it can only be a black hole. We found that XTE J1859+226 has a black hole more than 5.4 times greater than the mass of the Sun. It’s the definitive confirmation of the existence of a black hole in this object.”
        With this result we add a new piece to the study of the mass distribution of black holes. The shape of this distribution has very important implications for our knowledge about the death of massive stars, the formation of black holes, and the evolution of X-ray binary systems,”

        The article then says…

        Twelve years of observation: measuring the visible and the invisible.

        [This is after Peratt, Alfven and Bostick — ‘authorities’ of IEEE papers between 1984-1986. It discredits their notions in one fell swoop.]

        It concludes with the paragraph;

        The photometric measures allowed determining the orbital period of the binary (6.6 hours), while the spectroscopy data also provided information about the speed of the star’s orbital movement around the black hole. The combination of both of these parameters proved to be vital to calculate the mass of the back hole.

        If you ever want absolute proof that EU/PC on Black holes is wrong, this just puts the nail in the coffin of their nonsense of some “alternative explanation.”

        So you decide who is right or wrong here (and remember it, please)

        Game over!

      • iantresman says

        “The usual debate when it comes to black holes with individuals like iantresman is they play the game of denial”

        And anyone reading this page will notice that I have not denied black holes, and even the fringe science you referred to, says that it is agnostic on the subject.

      • iantresman says

        The Website describes the position of the Plasma Universe, which as far as I know, has not changed. Even Alfvén himself is quoted on the very page you mention on black holes that they “cannot be excluded”. That is the opposite of the position you are suggesting.

        Agnostic comes from the Greek, meaning “without knowledge”, which is indeed sometimes used in a theistic context. But as an atheist, I am sure I have a far less theistic agenda than Big Bang originator, the Roman Catholic Christian priest, Georges Lemaître. I’m implying nothing.

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        Back for more punishment eh?
        Not saying anything is worst than having an opinion (even if it is wrong.)
        All it says you are hiding something.
        It funny actually. You haven’t confirmed black holes either have you? Why is that? “The fool stands naked and exposed.”
        Touchdown!

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        Of course there is one more obvious question. Why doesn’t your link website say this? Also why do you quote old articles when there are literally hundreds that have been written since?
        We have the evidence in front of us, don’t we?
        I.e. http://www.plasma-universe.com/Black_hole

        (agnostic or agnosticism has nothing to do with God or anything beyond material phenomena, now does it?)

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….

  12. Torbjorn Larsson OM says

    Their evidence points to the black hole’s magnetic field being strong enough to tear away particles from the black hole’s gravitational clutches and funnel them outwards,

    Simply amazing; a cosmic blowtorch!

  13. Dav_Daddy says

    I have to admit upfront that I haven’t devoted the time to learn much about the PC/EU point of view. I don’t plan on doing so in the immediate future either. The reason for this has nothing to do with the obvious contempt felt towards the theory by the vast learned majority on this site. On the contrary that usually piques my interest.

    My issue is with the very simple fact that I have yet to come across any type of prediction based on this theory. I have heard many, many good questions raised (like the one here about where the magnetic fields are generated, or how the jets form.) What is missing is anything approaching an alternate explanation. If you are not qualified to offer such I completely sympathize but at least throw us a link to something with some relevance.

    I can honestly say that the Intelligent Design theory seems more scientifically plausible. They actually make a lot of good points. Scientists when being intellectually honest also must admit that there is circumstantial evidence in its favor so it must be chalked up as currently untestable. In fact [i](I can see I’m not going to make any friends here!)[/i] I prefer s-decay to inflation. I just can’t get myself to believe in anything/nothing/everything moving, or I should say “happening” faster than the speed of light.

    So if you have an argument or a theory let’s hear it, repeatedly pointing out gaps in our knowledge that we are already very well aware of is a waste of time and effort.

    • iantresman says

      I’m not sure what theory is being proposed, and what predictions are being made? I assume it is how the jets are produced, as I don’t think that the emission of polarised synchrotron radiation from jets is novel. Perhaps someone could points us at the relevant paper.

    • DrFlimmer says

      I just can’t get myself to believe in anything/nothing/everything moving, or I should say “happening” faster than the speed of light.

      Just one note:
      Spacetime is not bound to this limit. Therefore it can expand faster than c and can drag objects away from us also faster than c. This does not mean that the objects themselves move with c in space, space takes them with it. (Yeah, this is hard to comprehend, and I don’t know if I made it plausible enough.)

    • Torbjorn Larsson OM says

      For the record, I agree with all the rest. But I have a problem with the inflation proposal. If you integrate up the current universal expansion, it eventually “happens” faster than light relative to us, as DrFlimmer describes.

      But you don’t believe the consequences of observing an expanding universe… :-/

      • Dav_Daddy says

        The evidence to date certainly leads to the conclusion that the universe is expanding. Until some other plausible explanation for red shifts is offered I’m willing to say that it is.

        What I don’t buy about inflation is that the universe expanded FTL in the very beginning slowed down and has been speeding up ever since?

        This flies in the face of nearly everything I have learned about physics. What they are saying in simple terms is
        1. You have the initial state (whatever banged) in short) ie [i]potential energy[/i]
        2. The initial inflation phase faster than light or [i]kinetic energy[/i]
        3. Then it slowed down and sped back up.

        My daughter just took her first high school physics class last year and she can tell me the problem here. You are trying to tell me if you have a ball and start rolling it down an incline that very shortly after it begins it will drop drastically in speed and slowly speed backup there after with absolutely no outside interference?

        Personally “god did it’ sounds more logical to me.

        I also have to say that I am very pleasantly surprised that I could bring something like intelligent design and not be branded a religious nut case or worse. Either everyone around here is getting used to me or there is a consensus that ID is a better theory than PC/EU.

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