Hypervelocity Black Holes?

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When a massive star supernovas and the collapse is asymetric, it may kick the newly created neutron star away at over 600 miles per second. Could a larger asymetric collapse also create a black hole that takes off at hypervelocity?

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A nearby black hole, hurtling like a cannonball through the plane of our Milky Way, has provided possibly the best evidence yet that stellar-mass black holes are made in supernova explosions.


This black hole is streaking through space at a rate of 400 000 kilometres per hour - four times faster than the average velocity of the stars in the galactic neighbourhood. What has made it move so fast? The most likely 'cannon' is the explosive kick of a supernova, one of the Universe's most titanic events.


The runaway black hole GRO J1655-40

Abstract. We have used the Hubble Space Telescope to measure the motion in the sky and compute the galactocentric

orbit of the black hole X-ray binary GRO J1655-40. The system moves with a runaway space velocity of

112±18 km s−1 in a highly eccentric (e = 0.34 ±0.05) orbit. The black hole was formed in the disk at a distance

greater than 3 kpc from the Galactic centre and must have been shot to such eccentric orbit by the explosion of

the progenitor star. The runaway linear momentum and kinetic energy of this black hole binary are comparable

to those of solitary neutron stars and millisecond pulsars. GRO J1655-40 is the first black hole for which there is

evidence for a runaway motion imparted by a natal kick in a supernova explosion.

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