Do black holes rotate?

Even the tiniest amount of rotational motion can have an astronomical effect on the movement of celestial bodies.

9th December 2015
Do black holes rotate? (iStock)

Asked by: Joe Stoloff, Rochdale

Yes. All astronomical objects, including black holes, are formed by gravity pulling matter together. If a cosmic body originates from anything that had even the tiniest amount of rotational motion originally, then this spin rate will become greatly enhanced as the object collapses.

In a turbulent and angular momentum-rich Universe like ours, this means everything from dust particles to black holes will have some degree of rotation. Certain objects have observed properties that seem to be a direct result of the rotation of black holes. 

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