Observational evidence for a correlation between jet power and black hole spin


E-mail: rnarayan@cfa.harvard.edu (RN); jmcclintock@cfa.harvard.edu (JEM)


We show that the 5-GHz radio flux of transient ballistic jets in black hole binaries correlates with the dimensionless black hole spin parameter a* estimated via the continuum-fitting method. The data suggest that jet power scales either as the square of a* or as the square of the angular velocity of the horizon ΩH. This is the first direct evidence that jets may be powered by black hole spin energy. The observed correlation validates the continuum-fitting method of measuring spin. In addition, for those black holes that have well-sampled radio observations of ballistic jets, the correlation may be used to obtain rough estimates of their spins.