Astronomers working from NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory have discovered what they believe is the fastest blowing wind, coming from a stellar black hole.
The scientists, from both NASA and the University of Michigan have clocked the wind at speeds of about 20 million miles per hour... which about 3 percent the speed of light. They believe the stellar black hole - IGR J17091 - is powering these super winds.
The team, led by Ashley King, also found the super wind came from a disc of gas that surrounds the black hole. The speculation is that this disc contains magnetic fields responsible for producing powerful winds. They believe this gas might be carrying more material than the black hole.
Stellar black holes are usually small, when compared to other black holes and are born when extremely massive stars collapse. They typically weigh between five and 10 times the mass of the Sun.
"It's a surprise this small black hole is able to muster the wind speeds we typically only see in the giant black holes," said Jon M. Miller, from the University of Michigan.
"Contrary to the popular perception of black holes pulling in all of the material that gets close, we estimate up to 95 percent of the matter in the disk around IGR J17091 is expelled by the wind," said King, from the University of Michigan. "We weren't expecting to see such powerful winds from a black hole like this," he added.