A Black Hole Eats a Snack
Investigation of a Black Hole Transient
Artists conception of a black hole binary system, with the black
hole pulling matter from its companion star. (Image credit: ESA)
A black hole has just munched down a snack, and it's your job to
figure out what it ate and how fast it ate it. To do this, you are
going to look at the only evidence of the black hole's snack
spectrum of X-ray light that it emitted while eating, an X-ray belch if
you will. The X-ray data was taken by Suzaku, a Japanese X-ray
observatory with NASA participation.
You'll start by reading a little more about the type of object you
will be studying and the types of things you'll need to look for in the
spectrum to find out what kind of snack the black hole ate. Then you'll
look at a spectrum from a black hole binary system called 4U 1630-472.
You will fit the spectrum to a series of models in search of the best
model. Finally you'll examine your model to connect the best
mathimatical model back to the physical Universe.
If you haven't already familiarized yourself with spectroscopy and
modeling, go back to the Spectroscopy
Introduction page and go over the materials there before continuing