October 22, 2020

Astronomers have discovered a whole new class of black holes

Astronomers have discovered a whole new class of black holes

The researchers proposed a new method for finding black holes, which indicated the possibility of the existence of objects of much smaller sizes than any previously known.

Over the years, astronomers have studied blackthe holes that form during the explosion of supernovae and have enormous gravity, as well as neutron stars - less dense objects remaining after the death of stars, are not much larger than the Sun.

After decades of observing the universe, scientists have learned that black holes are about 5-15 times the mass of the sun, and neutron stars are often 2.1 times. Since, if a star is 2.5 times heavier than the Sun, it dies, then it should collapse into a black hole. However, a window in the range between the smallest known black holes and the largest neutron stars confused many researchers, so astrophysicists from Ohio State University decided to solve this mystery.

The team began to study light analysis dataspectra of 100,000 stars of the Milky Way collected during the study of galactic evolution by the Apache Point Observatory. The shift of the wavelengths to the blue and red edges allows us to determine that the star rotates around an invisible object.

After narrowing your search to potentially suitable200 systems, astronomers have discovered a red giant that revolves around something that is much smaller than known black holes, but more neutron stars. After additional calculations and reconciliation with the data from the Gaia satellite, they realized that they had discovered a black hole with a small mass, which is about 3.3 times heavier than the Sun.

In addition to using a new search method, the researchers potentially identified the first representative of a new class of black holes that they were previously unaware of.

Recall that astronomers will present the first real video of a black hole in 2020.