Watching Black Holes Spin

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Science  05 Mar 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5663, pp. 1480-1481
DOI: 10.1126/science.1091768

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Black holes span a range from a few times the mass of the Sun to many millions of solar masses. But researchers have discovered that they are united by the phenomenon of spin-black holes of all masses appear to be spinning. In his Perspective, Corbel discusses current work that concentrates on two signatures of spinning black holes: rapid variations in x-ray emission and the shape of the fluorescence line from iron atoms. Data from both of these kinds of measurements have opened a new window into black hole behavior.