A black hole so huge it 'shouldn't even exist' in our galaxy

Pablo Tucker
November 30, 2019

But Liu said he is excited that they can now find black holes through this method of watching stars' motions, instead of relying on X-ray radiation that's only emitted for a small number of star-and-black-hole pairs. Astronomers have found a stellar-mass black hole clocking in at around 70 times the mass of the Sun - but according to current models of stellar evolution, its size is impossible, at least in the Milky Way.

The Milky Manner is estimated to include 100 million stellar black holes however LB-1 is twice as huge as something scientists thought attainable, stated Liu Jifeng, a Nationwide Astronomical Observatory of China professor who led the analysis. "Now theorists will have to take up the challenge of explaining its formation".

However, astronomers said the vast majority of stellar black holes in our Galaxy are "not engaged in a cosmic banquet" and are therefore hard to spot because they don't give off X-rays. Up until now, the largest known blackhole had a mass that was 20 times that of the Sun, according to scientists.

"This newly discovered black hole is a young black hole, at most a few million years old, and is in our "neighbourhood", unlike the old and remote black holes detected by LIGO".

But it took follow-up observations using powerful Gran Telescopio Canarias in Spain and the Keck Observatory in the United States to reveal the stunning nature of what scientists have discovered.


Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner of Research, Science and Innovation, said at the conference in Brussels: "If there's a big moment for all of us, it is today".

The technique by which the black hole was recognized was extremely sharp. I got a sense of tremendous excitement.

Astronomers made the discovery using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, along with other telescopes.

The direct sighting of LB-1 proves that this population of over-massive stellar black holes exists even in our own backyard.

Scientists generally believe that there are two types of black holes. These are usually formed after supernova explosions, when a star collapses. On the other hand, in this case, there are three galaxies in play, each with its black hole. "Theoretical calculations show that no matter how massive the star initially was, the mass of the final black hole can not exceed 25 solar masses if the star is rich of metals like the one discovered in this paper".


The subject regarding black holes has been fascinating to astronomers and us as well since forever.

Another black hole search strategy has recently yielded natural products, and the kid is it succulent.

An unpredicted "monster" black hole, 70 times as massive as the Sun, has been discovered in the Milky Way galaxy, which challenges the existing models of how stars evolve, scientists said on Thursday.

However, using China's Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST), researchers have now been able to look for black holes by searching for stars that are orbiting invisible objects-black holes.

Recent studies by gravitational wave detectors LIGO and "Virgo" have detected ripples in spacetime caused by collisions of black holes which then merge to create new, larger ones.


The black holes involved in such collisions are also significantly heavier (up to about 50 solar masses) than the sample of active black holes in the Milky Way.

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