The Cygnus X-1 system is one of the world’s most famous black holes. It was the first time a black hole was detected and it has become one of the most studied objects of its type. It was also once the subject of a stipulation between two famous physicists: Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne. Thorne told Hawking that the object was a black hole in 1974, and Hawking happily won it in 1990 after coming to the data.
Now, astronomers at the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) have come up with something surprising about this observable object: it is both more massive and further than previously thought.
To measure the distance of the object more accurately, researchers used very long baseline arrays – a group of 10 dishes across the US – and a technique based on viewing the object from different angles as the Earth rotated has gone.
James Miller-Jones, lead researcher professor at Curtin University and International Center, said, ‘If we can see the same object from different places, we can calculate its distance from how much the object is relative to the background moves forward.’ For radio astronomy research (ICRAR) in a statement.
If you place your finger in front of your eyes and look with one eye at a time, you will see that your finger will be seen jumping from one place to another. This is exactly the same principle. “
Recently collected data were also compared to previous readings made over a decade ago, which helped reveal the extra mass of the black hole. Professor Miller-Jones said, “In six days we observed an entire orbit of black holes and in 2011 used the same system with the same telescope array.” “This method and our new measurements show that the system is more widespread with previously thought black holes.”
The new results show that the mass of a black hole is 21 times the mass of the Sun, which is 50% larger than previously thought.
Another oddity about this particular black hole is that it has a supergiant companion star that is 22 times the size of the Sun. These supergiant and black holes revolve around each other simultaneously and very rapidly – completing an orbit every five and a half days.