Black Hole Winds: The Magnetic-Hydrodynamic Model

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Illustration of wind blowing from accretion disk in GRO J1655-40 (Credit: NASA/CXC/A.HOBART)

Nature Astronomy recently published a new model, which explains the typical phenomena surrounding black holes: plasmatic outflows (winds). The article has been submitted by researchers from the US, Israel, Italy, and Greece.
The existence of black holes as a consequence of enormous gravity that prevents light from escaping had already been sighted at the end of the 18th century by the clergyman and philosopher John Mitchell and the mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace. But it was only Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity laid an ordered foundation for the phenomenon. At the beginning of the 20th century the physicist Karl Schwarzschild discovered the solution for the black hole in Einstein’s equations, though Einstein himself refused to believe in the existence of black holes in nature. Since then, there have been dramatic developments in this area, particularly a burgeoning of observable, clear and conclusive evidence for the existence of black holes.

One of the surprising phenomena observed in black holes is the strong winds that blow in their vicinity. The nature of these winds and the power, which drives them are explained in many ways, one of which describes them as a result of strong and regulated magnetic fields. The present article shows that the model of magnetic winds explains not only winds from super-massive black holes at the centers of galaxies, but also winds deriving from small black holes, whose mass resembles that of stars.

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