Distant Black Hole Spins at Half the Speed of Light

March 5, 2014 6:35 PM

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Back when the universe was half its present age, supermassive black holes were feeding from a steady and plentiful diet of neighboring galaxies, the first measurement of a distant supermassive black hole’s spin shows.

Taking advantage of a naturally occurring zoom lens in space, astronomers analyzed X-rays streaming from near the mouth of a supermassive black hole powering a quasar about 6 billion light years from Earth.

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