Giant black hole 'should not even exist,' stunned scientists say

Pablo Tucker
December 1, 2019

"In the statement, experts note that the discovery of LB-1" fits nicely" with another breakthrough in astrophysics - the detection of ripples in space-time caused by black hole collisions in distant galaxies. However, he stated that astronomers just started to find out how many black holes are in the galaxy, and their process of formation. "This is the first".

Now that scientists know how large stellar black holes can become, they're eager to revisit their theories about these cosmic phenomenon and their role in our universe. What makes it a huge or monster black hole is the fact that it is 70 times larger than the mass of the Sun!


"Black holes of such mass should not even exist in our Galaxy, according to most of the current models of stellar evolution", professor Jifeng Liu, lead author of the research, explains. "Now theorists will have to take up the challenge of explaining its formation", he said. The black hole was discovered by looking at stars that were being pulled in by an invisible object instead of the usual technique of looking at the x-rays emitted by a black hole, which not all black holes emit. This is because when the stars explode and die, they lose a lot of their mass which is swept away by the winds. The vast number of black holes and their mechanisms on how they're formed are still being researched upon. "LB-1 is twice as monstrous as what we suspected conceivable". The results, according to the news release, were "nothing short of fantastic". In May, Reitze's team made its own revolutionary discovery: it observed the collision never seen before of a neutron star and a black hole, which sent waves in space and time. But it's been agreed upon that stellar black holes are formed after supernova explosions, which occurs when massive stars burn out and die.

In April, the first-ever image of a black hole was released to the public, spurring excitement and a touch of humor from the internet's meme lovers.


Most black holes are found via their dramatic activity in X-rays or gamma rays, which are emitted as the behemoths gobble up nearby gas and dust. For example, the mass of the black hole depends on its calculated distance. Even Albert Einstein nearly didn't believe they were real, he said, even though it was his theory of general relativity that helped predict them more than 100 years ago. They are so elusive that scientists have only found, identified, and measured about two dozen stellar black holes, the press release said. There are several types of black holes, and stellar black holes like LB-1 are on the smaller side, according to NASA. "Or is it more common than we thought?"

The study suggests some potential explanations, including the "exciting possibility" that LB-1 might actually consist of two black holes orbiting each other, though Bregman said that would be rare. LB-1 could be the result of a fallback supernova, which means that the material ejected during the explosion of the star falls back into the supernova, creating a black hole.


Researchers made the discovery using China's Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST).

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