Astronomers figured out if the stars fall into black holes

© Mark A. Garlick/CfAЧерная hole eats a star as a wholeAstronomers figured out if the stars fall into black holes© Mark A. Garlick/CfA

Astronomers and cosmologists from the US tracked the behavior of a million of the largest black holes and came to the conclusion that the stars fall into them and that they have the event horizon, predicted by the theory of relativity, according to an article published in the journal MNRAS.

«We tried to figure out what form has the event horizon, how hard he is, or, as I believe colleagues like fluffy «skein» of yarn. We were just trying to find the first evidence that it really exists. Our observations show that all or almost all black holes have an event horizon, and that matter actually disappears from the observable Universe in the moment when she crosses it. The theory of relativity has successfully passed another test,» said Ramesh Narayan (Ramesh Narayan) from Harvard University (USA).

The theory of relativity predicts that the Universe can be a so-called singularity – the point having infinitely high density and whatever weight. A special case of singularity are well known black holes.

Such objects, in accordance with the principle of «cosmic censorship» Penrose-Hawking, impossible to see, as they will be separated from the rest of the Universe the event horizon. In other words, the singularity is located inside an imaginary sphere from which not even light can escape from the super-strong gravity of the black hole. The fulfillment of this principle is extremely important for physics as the discovery of «naked singularities», at least in theoretical form, would mean that the whole of modern physical science is wrong.

Recently, theoretical physicists have suggested that black holes do not have to be a singularity. At the point where there should be a singularity, can be super dense object that is not isolated from the surrounding Universe, but is invisible to us, or «wormhole» – a tunnel connecting two different spaces. This idea excites great controversy among cosmologists and astronomers, as evidence of its existence, or denials of this idea have not yet been found.

Narayan and his colleagues found an original way to test whether there is the event horizon of black holes, watching as the large black holes located in the centers of galaxies, «eat» samishisa them stars.

Clarification of the singularity

Scientists drew attention to the fact that the consequences of the convergence of stars and black holes in the presence and absence of the event horizon will be noticeably different. If available, the Orb will disappear without a trace, «falling» into a singularity smaller than an atom, and in its absence, the star will collide with a superdense object forming the basis of a black hole.

As a result of this collision, the matter is light «smudges» on this project, it will no longer be invisible to us, and produce a flash that will last for decades and whose brightness will vary in a unique way, not like how supernovae occur or emissions are «normal» black holes. Accordingly, observing a large enough number of galaxies, we can understand whether there are supermassive black holes without an event horizon, if the brightness increases sharply and become visible.

Trying to find traces of such «outbreaks», the researchers analyzed images of over a million galaxies, with very large supermassive black holes in the vicinity of the Earth, which received an automated telescope Pan-STARRS in the Hawaiian Islands for the past four years.

Narayan and his colleagues did not detect any such flash, which means two things – that the biggest black holes have an event horizon and that the stars are «swallowed» them whole, forever and without a trace disappearing from the visible Universe. Scientists believe that the same way behave and smaller black holes in the centers of galaxies and their smaller «cousins» of stellar mass.

This is supported by the fact that Pan-STARRS was supposed to fix at least ten such temporary flares on the surface of black holes if theories about the formation of such ultra-dense objects would be true. Soon Narayan and his colleagues will test their insights on the construction survey telescope LSST in Chile, which will be able to follow a much larger number of galaxies than the Hawaiian Observatory.