Astronomers believe the Milky Way is full of black holes large and small, with an estimated 100 million invisible “monster” black holes hiding near the Milky Way,media CNET reported. Astronomers generally think these black holes may be 20 times the mass of the sun, but the newly discovered “monster” black holes are about 70 times the mass of the sun, surprising Chinese astronomers.
In a new study published November 27 in the journal Nature, a team of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences looked at galaxies using the “Lamost” at the Xinglong Observatory in China. Black holes do not glow, so astronomers must find them in other ways. Typically, this involves looking for signs of gas and dust that are spinning around a black hole in or around a nearby star.
If there is no bright gas and dust around the black hole, it can be tricky to find. But the team used Lamost to examine the star’s movement steam in the sky, looking for stars that appeared to be spinning around invisible objects. Follow-up observations by telescopes in Spain and the United States have helped researchers discover a star about eight times larger than the sun.
Interestingly, it’s running around the “dark mate”: a “monster” black hole known as LB-1.
“According to most current models of stellar evolution, this mass black hole should not even exist in our galaxy,” Liu Jifeng, an astronomer at the National Observatory of China and the study’s lead author, said in a press release. The quality of the LB-1 is twice what we thought it was. Now, theorists will have to face the challenge of explaining it. “
Because the LB-1 is too large, its formation is confusing. Liu Jifeng thinks black holes of this size are unusual because the resulting stars usually lose a lot of gas when they start to die. When they collapse, the mass becomes smaller. Well, a black hole like LB-1 could be formed by a combination of black holes and black holes, or perhaps even two black holes orbiting each other. For now, researchers are unable to determine.
But the latest work by gravitational wave detectors LIGO and VIRGO suggests that merged black holes can form these behemoths, but this is the first time astronomers have observed a black hole of this size in the Milky Way.