Has anyone found a black hole that has captured a planet?

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Offline thedoc

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Just found your pod cast the other week. awesome podcast!

I was wondering if anyone has found a black hole that has captured another interstellar object. I am assuming that the creation of a black hole is so violent that anything that was originally in that solar system was blown away or consumed by the star prior to the formation of the black hole.
Asked by luke

                                        Visit the webpage for the podcast in which this question is answered.

[chapter podcast=1001476 track=16.10.04/Naked_Scientists_Show_16.10.04_1005764.mp3]  ...or Listen to the Answer[/chapter] or [download as MP3]

« Last Edit: 06/10/2016 10:45:30 by _system »


Offline evan_au

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Black holes are very hard to observe directly, because they are very black, and very small.

The massive black hole in the center of our galaxy is estimated to have a mass 4 million times that of the Sun, but would fit within Earth's orbit around the Sun. At a distance of 27,000 light-years, it is too small to see with optical telescopes, and it is surrounded by opaque dust clouds. However, networks of radio telescopes can peer through the dust, and detect radio waves produced by hot gas surrounding the (likely) black hole.

There are occasional X-Ray bursts from this object, which may be caused by a large object falling into the black hole.
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galactic_Center#Supermassive_black_hole

Many galaxies (including our own) have high-velocity beams of particles emitted above and below the galaxy, which show up in radio wavelengths. It is thought that matter is actively falling into the black hole at the center of these galaxies, and perhaps 10% of it escapes along the poles of the black hole. In some cases, these jets suddenly change direction, suggesting that perhaps two black holes collided, changing the axis of rotation of the central black hole.
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-shaped_radio_galaxy

The recently observed gravitational waves were caused by the collision of two black holes, around 30 times the mass of the Sun.
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_observation_of_gravitational_waves#Event_detection