Root NationNews"Black hole police" discovered a new black hole themselves

“Black hole police” discovered a new black hole themselves


An international team of experts, known for exposing false black hole discoveries, has discovered a dormant stellar-mass black hole in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galaxy that neighbors our Milky Way. “For the first time, our team is reporting the discovery of a black hole, rather than exposing someone else’s discovery,” said lead study author Tomer Shenar of the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The team found that the star that gave rise to the hole had disappeared, with no hint of a bright, powerful explosion.

Black Hole

“We identified a ‘needle in a haystack’,” – Shenar said. Although scientists have previously discussed similar candidates, Schenard and his team report that their study is the first to unequivocally confirm a “dormant” stellar-mass black hole outside the Milky Way.

Stellar mass black holes form when massive stars reach the end of their life cycle and collapse under their own gravity. In a binary star system, after such an explosion, a black hole and a bright companion star remain. A black hole is “sleeping” if it does not show intense radiation in the X-ray range, which is how such objects usually detected.

The discovery was made using a six-year archive of observations made by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT). This newly discovered “dormant” black hole has a mass of at least 9 solar masses and is part of a system called VFTS 243, which also has a hot, blue star with a mass of about 25 solar masses. “Sleeping” black holes are particularly difficult to detect, since they hardly interact with their immediate surroundings by emitting electromagnetic radiation.

To discover the VFTS 243 system, the collaboration searched among the 1,000 massive stars in the Tarantula Nebula, part of the Large Magellanic Cloud, for systems that could host a companion black hole in addition to the star. The identification of such companions as black holes is particularly difficult, since the signs of the presence of these observable objects can often be explained by other, alternative hypotheses, the authors say.

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