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The 2011 NASA Goddard video NASA | RXTE Detects 'Heartbeat' Of Smallest Black Hole Candidate mentions a heartbeat and includes a graphic of pulses from GRS 1915+105. A screenshot is shown below. No timescale is shown, it's mostly a "graphics fluff" or "science woo" (to borrow a phrase) video.

However Wikipedia's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer doesn't seem to mention any heartbeats per se.

Question: What is a typical "pulse rate" for a black hole's "heartbeat"? Is the process better understood than it was in 2011?


screenshot of The 2011 NASA Goddard video "NASA | RXTE Detects 'Heartbeat' Of Smallest Black Hole Candidate" https://youtu.be/YlHS-JlkYPI

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    $\begingroup$ There's some relevant info in the video description. "But to date only IGR J17091 and one other system, named GRS 1915+105, exhibit so-called rho-class oscillations that astronomers describe as a 'heartbeat' reflecting the accretion and ejection of matter. [...] In GRS 1915+105, which at 14 solar masses is by f[a]r the more massive of the two, this cycle occurs in as little as 40 seconds. It occurs eight times faster in IGR J17091". $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    Aug 6 at 1:06
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    $\begingroup$ There's some discussion of dynamics and time scales here arxiv.org/pdf/2102.00693.pdf , esp. sec. 4.2. I've only skimmed the paper, but I'm guessing that the time scale of 40 seconds is roughly the separation between the stars over c. The orbital period is much longer, and the light-crossing time for the black hole's size is much shorter. $\endgroup$
    – user15381
    Aug 6 at 1:30
  • $\begingroup$ Recent shared news show that there is a good progress made by efforts in the black holes observation refinement and obtained data analysis results. More detailed observation feeding analysis, simulations and concepts. Here some results: phys.org/news/… I hope this answers your question in a sense. $\endgroup$
    – Lariliss
    Aug 6 at 10:57
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    $\begingroup$ GRS1915+10 is a rather special system, showing many modes of behavior. This heartbeat was in one particular mode. Have a look for articles about QPO (Quasi Periodic Oscillations). A recent review paper is: arxiv.org/abs/2001.08758. $\endgroup$ Aug 17 at 6:51

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