Cosmic X-Rays Reveal a Distinctive Signature of Black Hole Event Horizons – A Spiritual Insight


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Recently, astrophysicists have discovered a distinct signature of black hole event horizons which differentiates the object in space from neutron stars.  Neutron stars are comparable to black holes in mass and size but are confined by a hard surface. The researchers are an international team from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India, the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Germany, and the Space Research Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia. They published a paper that has been accepted in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. [1]


  1. Cosmic X-Rays Reveal a Distinctive Signature of Black Hole Event Horizons,” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. DOI: 10.1093/mnras/staa2788,  
  2. Arthur H. Compton, “The Spectrum of Scattered X-Rays,” Physical Review, 1923, Vol 22, No. 5, 409-413 (

A black hole is a region of space where the gravitational field is so intense that neither matter or radiation can escape. The black hole is called an exotic cosmic object that does not have a hard surface (i.e. as a neutron star does). Einstein predicted what the surface of a black hole would be like according to his theory of General Relativity. The surface of a black hole is also called the event horizon, the location at which there is no return, all matter and radiation, even light cannot escape.  There is only one black hole that has actually been imaged which has a mass estimated to be more than 6 billion times the mass of the Sun. In the research paper, the scientists measured the Compton scattering and electron temperature of objects in space where they were believed to be possible candidates of a black hole. Compton scattering, discovered by Arthur Holly Compton, is the scattering of a photon by a charged particle, usually an electron. If it results in a decrease in energy (increase in wavelength) of the photon (which may be an X-ray or gamma ray photon), it is called the Compton effect. Part of the energy of the photon is transferred to the recoiling electron. Inverse Compton scattering occurs when a charged particle transfers part of its energy to a photon. By the early 20th century, research into the interaction of X-rays with matter was well under way. It was observed that when X-rays of a known wavelength interact with atoms, the X-rays are scattered through an angle theta and emerge at a different wavelength related to theta . Although classical electromagnetism predicted that the wavelength of scattered rays should be equal to the initial wavelength, multiple experiments had found that the wavelength of the scattered rays was longer (corresponding to lower energy) than the initial wavelength. In 1923, Compton published a paper in the Journal Physical Review [2] that explained the X-ray shift by attributing particle-like momentum to light quanta (Einstein had proposed light quanta in 1905 in explaining the photo-electric effect, but Compton did not build on Einstein’s work). The energy of light quanta depends only on the frequency of the light. In his paper, Compton derived the mathematical relationship between the shift in wavelength and the scattering angle of the X-rays by assuming that each scattered X-ray photon interacted with only one electron. 

The research paper describes how the researchers measured two source properties, the electron temperature and the Comptonization parameter from X-Ray data from many black hole and neutron star candidates. A graph of the comptonization parameter (y-axis) and the electron temperature (x-axis) revealed clearly the distinction between black holes and neutron stars. The neutron star is the densest object in the universe that has a hard surface. Neutron stars produce X-Rays by accreting matter from a companion star in a similar way to black holes. This is why researchers need to distinguish neutron stars from black holes. Using the archival X-Ray data from the decommissioned astronomy satellite Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer, they have identified the effect of the lack of hard surface on the observed X-Ray emission, and subsequently found an extremely strong signature of accreting stellar mass black holes.

The Spiritual Insights that we receive from this type of research is paralleled to this distinct signature that was discovered allowing us to distinguish between black holes and neutron stars. This draws out how the God of Israel gives us a distinction for the purpose of the world knowing who we are by the way we live and love one another. According to the Torah, God called Abraham from his people to become a great nation.

Bereshit / Genesis 12:1-5

א   וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָֹה אֶל-אַבְרָם לֶךְ-לְךָ מֵאַרְצְךָ וּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ וּמִבֵּית אָבִיךָ אֶל-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ: ב   וְאֶעֶשְֹךָ לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל וַאֲבָרֶכְךָ וַאֲגַדְּלָה שְׁמֶךָ וֶהְיֵה בְּרָכָה: ג   וַאֲבָרְכָה מְבָרֲכֶיךָ וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ אָאֹר וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה: ד   וַיֵּלֶךְ אַבְרָם כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֵלָיו יְהֹוָה וַיֵּלֶךְ אִתּוֹ לוֹט וְאַבְרָם בֶּן-חָמֵשׁ שָׁנִים וְשִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה בְּצֵאתוֹ מֵחָרָן: ה   וַיִּקַּח אַבְרָם אֶת-שָֹרַי אִשְׁתּוֹ וְאֶת-לוֹט בֶּן-אָחִיו וְאֶת-כָּל-רְכוּשָׁם אֲשֶׁר רָכָשׁוּ וְאֶת-הַנֶּפֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר-עָשֹוּ בְחָרָן וַיֵּצְאוּ לָלֶכֶת אַרְצָה כְּנַעַן וַיָּבֹאוּ אַרְצָה כְּנָעַן: 

12:1 Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; 12:2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 12:3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.’ 12:4 So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 12:5 Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan. (NASB)

In the covenant that God made with Abraham, the Lord repeated this covenant promise to three generations (Abraham in Bereshit / Genesis 12:1-5, Isaac in Bereshit / Genesis 21:12, 26:3-4, and Jacob in Bereshit / Genesis 28:14-15). The covenant promised them land, many descendants, and blessing from God.  Here the Lord called Abram to leave the land of Ur of the Chaldees to go to Canaan and it is here in Bereshit / Genesis 12 that we see the Lord establishing a covenant with Him. The way in which the Lord revealed Himself to Abraham, distinguishes Him as the Creator, and as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, showing God’s desire for a relationship with His people, being distinctly different from the gods of Egypt and this world.  The promise of Land, that which is in Canaan, was meant to remind the people of the covenant God had made. The existence of Israel today is a testimony of this covenant and promise of God. When we note the existence of Israel, we note how the pages of Scripture reveals to us the plan of God for the ages, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is merciful, forgiving, kind, and loving, and seeks each of us to come to Him by faith.  When Abraham rose, packed up all that he had, he proceeded in life by faith. The relationship and distinction that God gives to us is revealed in the Lord Himself calling Himself “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” (Shemot / Exodus 3:15) Moshe was then instructed to identify Him as the “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Shemot / Exodus 3:16) to the people of Israel.  We read the following according to Shemot / Exodus 3:6-8.

Shemot / Exodus 3:6-8

ו   וַיֹּאמֶר אָנֹכִי אֱלֹהֵי אָבִיךָ אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם אֱלֹהֵי יִצְחָק וֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב וַיַּסְתֵּר מֹשֶׁה פָּנָיו כִּי יָרֵא מֵהַבִּיט אֶל-הָאֱלֹהִים: ז   וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה רָאֹה רָאִיתִי אֶת-עֳנִי עַמִּי אֲשֶׁר בְּמִצְרָיִם וְאֶת-צַעֲקָתָם שָׁמַעְתִּי מִפְּנֵי נֹגְשָֹיו כִּי יָדַעְתִּי אֶת-מַכְאֹבָיו: ח   וָאֵרֵד לְהַצִּילוֹ | מִיַּד מִצְרַיִם וּלְהַעֲלֹתוֹ מִן-הָאָרֶץ הַהִוא אֶל-אֶרֶץ טוֹבָה וּרְחָבָה אֶל-אֶרֶץ זָבַת חָלָב וּדְבָשׁ אֶל-מְקוֹם הַכְּנַעֲנִי וְהַחִתִּי וְהָאֱמֹרִי וְהַפְּרִזִּי וְהַחִוִּי וְהַיְבוּסִי: 

3:6 He said also, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. 3:7 The Lord said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. 3:8 ‘So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. (NASB)

Here the Lord God identifies Himself as having compassion and coming to deliver His people. The Lord reveals to Moshe that He is the covenant God who is with His people! But not just that He is present and hears their cry of bondage, the Lord wants the people to know that He is with them (Shemot / Exodus 3:12), that he will deliver them from Egypt, from bondage, and set them free (Shemot / Exodus 3:8) and that He is fulfilling his covenant promises to Israel through Moshe, the intermediary. Moshe is also reassured that God is powerful and all sufficient to protect Him too. (ג:יב   וַיֹּאמֶר כִּי-אֶהְיֶה עִמָּךְ וְזֶה-לְּךָ הָאוֹת כִּי אָנֹכִי שְׁלַחְתִּיךָ בְּהוֹצִיאֲךָ אֶת-הָעָם מִמִּצְרַיִם תַּעַבְדוּן אֶת-הָאֱלֹהִים עַל הָהָר הַזֶּה) The Lord also reveals Himself to Moshe at the burning bush as the self-existing God who needs nothing to be who He is and to do what He purposes. The idea of God revealing Himself in the burning bush speaks to the sufficiency of God’s power and ability to do what He proclaimed He was going to do. This distinction that we find in Shemot / Exodus 3 speaks to what the Scientific research is drawing out for us. Remember, the scientific research recently published speaks of a distinct signature that was discovered allowing us to distinguish between black holes and neutron stars. In parallel fashion, God revealed to us something about Himself as self-existing and all sufficient, these things are critical to grasp as no other god had proclaimed, recognized, or performed such great miracles on behalf of his people.  These things reveal to us the purpose of God by revealing Himself to us in this particular way, which was to make a distinction in Himself, who he is, and to make a distinction in us, who we are as His people!   

In the Creation account, we are told that God spoke Adam into his form as the Scriptures state, 

Bereshit / Genesis 1:26

כו   וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים נַעֲשֶֹה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ וְיִרְדּוּ בִדְגַת הַיָּם וּבְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּבַבְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל-הָאָרֶץ וּבְכָל-הָרֶמֶשֹ הָרֹמֵשֹ עַל-הָאָרֶץ:

1:26 Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ (NASB)

These Scriptures speak to God making man in the image and likeness of God. Because of this we can expect a strong correlation between the spoken word and reality. The Lord God is able to literally create reality by His Word, whereas we are only able to create words and interpret words and make decisions and assessments based upon our words, etc.  The Lord God revealed His character by his love and deeds through the Jewish people.  Just as we see here in the life of Moshe from Shemot / Exodus.  Paul wrote in Philippians 2:6-11 that Yeshua, being made unique as the Son of God, took on the form of a servant, was made in the likeness of man, and became the sin bearer (kapparah) of the world, and laid his life down on the cross on our behalf. Paul said, “therefore God has also highly exalted Him, and given Him a name that is above every name: That at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Yeshua the Messiah is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” The way the Lord God revealed Himself to Moshe according to Shemot / Exodus 3, coupled to the way we were created in the likeness of God, we are given the responsibility to properly confess and believe the truth.  This draws us back to how God revealed Himself to Moshe in preparation for bringing His people out.  He called Himself the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Shemot / Exodus 3:15). He instructed Moshe to identify the Lord by that name when speaking to the Israelites (3:16). This carries the important implication that He is distinguishing Himself from the gods of Egypt and of the world. The Lord calling Himself the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob implies the promise of land, freedom, and blessing. These are the things God promises us too and is the reason why we fight so hard to keep them! The Lord God made promises, and He is faithful to those promises in bringing us to our inheritance, just as He had done and continues to do for Israel. This name draws us back to the covenant God had made with Abraham, and teaches us about the power of God in the lives of His people! 

Yeshua used this section of the Torah (Shemot / Exodus 3) to speak to the sadducees about the resurrection. (Matthew 22:31-32) He pointed out the verb “am” is in the present tense and that God did not say that he “was” the God of their fathers. This difference is huge as Yeshua showed how Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are still alive. The Scientific research draws out the unique signature allowing us to distinguish between black holes and neutron stars. In parallel fashion, The Almighty God revealed Himself in a very unique way, by the deliverance of His people by the hand of Moshe. He also revealed Himself through the prophets by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  The NT speaks of God revealing Himself through His Son Yeshua.  The Scriptures make it very clear the importance of truth, and believing in the truth.  The name of God’s Son, Yeshua, is so vital to our correct understanding of the truth, that without Him and His name we are all lost!  This is the reason why we are told explicitly that there is salvation in no other name (Acts 4:12). This is why Paul said what he did in Romans 10, with the mouth we confess and with the heart we believe.  Confession (our lips) are made unto salvation, and the heart is made for faith. The choice lies with each of us, whether we believe the testimony of Moshe on who God is, and whether we believe in the testimony of the disciples, on who His Son is!  This is the distinction the scientific research is drawing out for us, we have the responsibility as God’s people to speak forth the truth of God’s Salvation, and to believe it in our hearts, and to live it every day of our lives!  The Lord God of Israel has personally revealed Himself to us throughout history, and the Bible, the Word of God has been preserved for us as a testimony to the truth, speaking for the truth of God’s graciousness to come down and dwell in our midst! Having faith in these things, believing in God our Father in heaven, and in His Son who gave his life for us, and when we believe with genuine kavannah and reverence, we enter into a right relationship with God Himself!