A Monster Black Hole Has Been Discovered Nearby Silently Minding Its Business

Monster Black Hole, Black holes are among the most awesome and mysterious objects in the known Universe. These gravitational behemoths form when massive stars undergo gravitational collapse at the end of their lifespans and shed their outer layers in a massive explosion (a supernova).

A Monster Black Hole Has Been Discovered Nearby Silently Minding Its Business

Meanwhile, the stellar remnant becomes so dense that the curvature of spacetime becomes infinite in its vicinity and its gravity so intense that nothing (not even light) can escape its surface. This makes them impossible to observe using conventional optical telescopes that study objects in visible light. As a result, astronomers typically search for black holes in non-visible wavelengths or by observing their effect on objects in their vicinity. After consulting the Gaia Data Release 3 (DR3), a team of astronomers led by the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) recently observed a black hole in our cosmic backyard. As they describe in their study, this monster black hole is roughly twelve times the mass of our Sun and located about 1,550 light-years from Earth. Because of its mass and relative proximity, this black hole presents opportunities for astrophysicists. The study was led by Dr. Sukanya Chakrabarti, the Pei-Ling Chan Endowed Chair in the Department of Physics at UAH.

She was joined by astronomers from the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science, the Rochester Institute of Technology, the SETI Institute Carl Sagan Center, UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley, the University of Notre Dame, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Hawaii, and Yale.  Monster Black Hole, The paper that describes their findings recently appeared online and is being reviewed by the Astrophysical Journal. Black holes are of particular interest to astronomers because they offer opportunities to study the laws of physics under the most extreme conditions. In some cases, like the supermassive black holes (SMBH) that reside at the center of most massive galaxies, they also play a vital role in galaxy formation and evolution. The techniques employed by Dr. Chakrabarti and her colleagues could lead to the discovery of many more noninteracting systems. According to current estimates, there could be a million visible stars in our galaxy that have massive black hole companions. While this represents a tiny fraction of its stellar population (~100 billion stars), the Gaia Observatory’s precise measurements have narrowed that search. To date, Gaia has obtained data on the positions and proper motions of over 1 billion astronomical objects – including stars, galaxies, Further studies of this population will allow astronomers to learn more about this population of binary systems and the formation pathway of black holes.

Source: This news is originally published by sciencealert