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how_can_x-rays_escape_the_gravity_of_black_holes 2009/01/16 11:10 current
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 +**Since Black holes are basically a type of gravitational well absorbing matter at varying rates,  since it’s taught that  matter cannot escape the gravity of a black hole, why then X-rays escape the gravity effects of a black hole?**
 +{{ :750px-accretion_disk.jpg?200x100|}}
 +Good questions.  X-rays don't escape from _inside_ the black hole, but
 +rather come from hot material right _next to_ the black hole.  Once
 +that hot material goes inside the black hole, no X-rays or anything
 +else ever come out again.
 +Why does stuff get hot when it falls into a black hole?  Basically, as
 +stuff starts falling toward a black hole, it moves faster and faster
 +(just like if you drop something, it falls toward the Earth faster and
 +faster).  However, the stuff falling toward the black hole hits
 +_other_ stuff that's also falling toward the black hole.  The effect
 +of this is to heat everything up.  This is just like what happens when
 +your hand heats up if you rub it back and forth on your desk.
 +Finally, why does hot stuff emit X-rays?  Well, we know that hot
 +things glow--if you put an iron rod into a fire, it will eventually
 +glow red, and then white.  If something gets _extremely_ hot (several
 +million degrees) it emits not visible light, but X-rays.
 +So that's the story.  Here's a nice artist's impression of the whole thing:
 +The X-rays are coming from the disk of material around the black hole.
 +Take care,
 +<sub>Image source: Wikipedia</sub>
how_can_x-rays_escape_the_gravity_of_black_holes.txt · Last modified: 2009/01/16 11:10 by czars · [Old revisions]