Hubble Unleashes an Unexpected Thin Black Hole Disk

NASA scientists recently presented an astonishing discovery through Hubble Telescope; a big black hole with an extremely thin disk twirling around it. The disk is currently said to be present at the center of the exotic NGC 3147 galaxy which is at the distance of approximately 130 million light years.

Theories of Relativity and Latest Discovery of Black Hole Disk

After the recent discovery, the scientists are unable to get any logical answer to why the disk is present at the current location; much close to the black hole. Nevertheless, the dilemma has led them to test the general and special theories of relativity presented by Albert Einstein.

The General Theory of Relativity represents how gravity works in the space while the Special Theory of Relativity shows the connection between time and space.

Hubble Space Telescope Spiral Galaxy NGC 3147
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Credits: Hubble Image: NASA, ESA

Some astronomers shared their point of view that they have never noticed such transparency as a result of the General and Special theories of relativity in visible light before.

One of the astronomers shared his point of view that the narrowness of the disk besides the black hole is affecting the shape of photons of light which is an unexpected discovery. Moreover, it is impossible to come to a conclusion until they study the data with the help of theories of relativity.

Powerful Versus Weak Black Holes

The difference between the powerful and weak black holes is that the former one’s galaxies provide enough food for them to survive and their disks end up becoming thinner while the later one’s galaxies don’t provide nourishment or materials to suck, the rings besides these black holes end up puffed up like a donut. Since NGC 3147 belongs in the second category, scientists are still confused about what caused the ring to become lean.

Another researcher shared his point of view that they wanted this black hole to make sure that disks are presents around black holes only at certain limits but they were actually overwhelmed to see something totally opposite of what they expected. He also said that they found gas related features in the disk which are impossible to exist in the less to no fed black holes.

Since this galaxy has less luminosity, keeping up with previous records, scientists finally wanted to confirm that less luminosity will sustain only weak black holes and hence thick rings; however, the idea has totally backfired.

Moreover, according to the previous samples, it is shown that disks become thin when materials pulled inside the black hole push the gas that comes along with the materials towards the ring and the disk start to emit stronger light which is named as a quasar. Similarly, if the same black hole’s sucking amount decreases the disk the automatically become weak, start to change its shape, and will emit less light.

The disk found in galaxy NGC 3147 is the same as those found in the range of 1,000 to 10,000 more luminous galaxies. And the deepness of disk inside the black hole can clearly be aligned with theories of relativity.

Hubble also discovered the speed of matter that is revolving around the ring is more than 10% of the speed of light. Also, the mass of the black hole is approximately 250 million suns. The light of disk becomes stronger when black hole travels near the earth and it dims when the disk moves far from us. The same effect is also called relativistic beaming.


Hubble’s huge discovery has opened an entirely new path for scientists. Additionally, researchers are using Hubble’s Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph to determine the precise speed of light and gas inside the black hole.

If it wasn’t for Hubble, the scientist wouldn’t have known the black hole and the thin disk existed because its light can’t be observed from the earth as the brightness of the stars dominate it.

The scientists are also planning to look up for more galaxies with black holes using the Hubble Telescope in the future.


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