Washington: Astronomers have a galaxy beside us Milk Ganges What they call a cosmic “needle in a haystack” – a A black hole It is not only classified as inactive but appears to have been born without the explosion of a dying star.
Researchers said on Monday that this differs from all other known black holes in that it “X-ray quiet” – does not emit the powerful X-ray radiation indicative of tumbling nearby material with its strong gravitational pull – and is not born in a stellar explosion called a supernova.
Black holes are objects so dense with gravity that even intense light cannot escape.
This one, with a mass at least nine times that of our Sun, was discovered in Tarantula Nebula The Large Magellanic Cloud is a region of the galaxy and is located about 160,000 light-years from Earth. A light year means light travels a distance of 5.9 trillion miles (9.5 trillion km) in one year.
An extremely bright and hot blue star with a mass about 25 times that of the Sun orbits this black hole in a stellar marriage. This so-called binary system has been named VFTS 243. Researchers believe that the companion star will also eventually become a black hole and merge with another.
Passive black holes, which are considered relatively common, are difficult to detect because they interact so little with their surroundings. A number of previously proposed candidates have been debunked with further studies, including by members of the team that uncovered this one.
“The challenge is to find those things,” said Tomer Schöner, a research fellow in astronomy at the University of Amsterdam, lead author of the study published in the journal Nature Astronomy. “We identified a needle in a haystack.”
The discovery is the first of its kind after astronomers have been searching for decades, said Karim Al-Badri, an astronomer at the Harvard and Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and study co-author.
The researchers used six years of observations from the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile.
There are different categories of black holes. The smallest, like the newly discovered ones, are so-called stellar-mass black holes that form from the collapse of massive individual stars at the end of their life cycles. Most galaxies also have intermediate-mass black holes at their centers, as well as massive supermassive black holes.
“Black holes are intrinsically dark objects. They don’t emit any light. So, to detect black holes, we usually look at binary systems in which we see a bright star orbiting for a second, which is undetected.” Study co-author Julia Bodensteiner, a postdoctoral research fellow at the European Southern Observatory in Munich.
It is generally believed that the collapse of massive stars into black holes is associated with powerful supernova explosions. In this case, a star with perhaps 20 times the mass of our Sun blasts some of its material into space on its death knell, then collapses in on itself without exploding.
The shape of its orbit with that of its companion provides evidence of a lack of outbursts.
“The system’s orbit is almost perfectly circular,” Shaner said.
If a supernova had occurred, the force of the blast would have kicked the newly formed black hole in a random direction and produced an elliptical rather than circular orbit, Shennar added.
Black holes can be brutally monstrous, with any material – gas, dust and stars – wandering in their gravitational pull.
“Black holes can only become brutally monstrous if they have something close enough that they can eat. Normally, we detect them if they are receiving material from a companion star, a process we call accretion,” said Bodensteiner. was
“In so-called passive black hole systems, the companion is so far away that material does not gather around the black hole to heat up and emit X-rays. Instead, it is immediately swallowed by the black hole,” added Schenar.