Heavyweight Black Hole

  • #1
283
143

Summary:

"Observations of a star have found it orbiting an unexpectedly massive black hole. If the discovery pans out, it would change our understanding of how massive stars die."

Main Question or Discussion Point

Article:
https://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/heavyweight-black-hole-find-mystifies-astronomers/

Astronomers have found a seemingly “impossible” black hole about 14,000 light-years away. Their observations, published in the November 28th Nature, suggest that the weird object weighs in at a staggering 68 times the mass of the Sun.

While much heftier black holes, dubbed supermassive, reside in the cores of most large galaxies, theories predict an upper limit of some 45 to 55 solar masses for a “stellar-mass” black hole that forms in the aftermath of a supernova explosion. According to Craig Wheeler (University of Texas, Austin), “This is clearly an interesting story, if verified.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
283
143
Most probable explanation?

Indeed, LIGO and Virgo have detected gravitational waves from the mergers of black holes of up to 50 solar masses. So the new discovery could be a pre-merger binary black hole. Or maybe the pair has already merged, although that would be unlikely, given the young age of the system — the companion star is only 35 million years old.
 
  • #3
Janus
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
3,451
1,146
  • #4
283
143
Quick update on this topic. It looks like the estimation of the Black hole's size could have very well been mistaken:
https://www.space.com/monster-black-hole-not-so-massive.html?fbclid=IwAR0bmGlw07ishJKTCnAlQHl3-_FxJA9NU5sWlIPTvpiJeDjZtSxL7RZV43E
Interesting! But possibly this is not the end of the story yet:
Space.com reached out to Liu's team for comment, and Liu said that "We are writing a paper to address all these concerns." He added that his team expects that paper to be out sometime next week.
Let's see their feedback.
 
  • #5
Janus
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
3,451
1,146
Interesting! But possibly this is not the end of the story yet:

Let's see their feedback.
That's why I said "could have very well been" rather than "was".
 

Related Threads for: Heavyweight Black Hole

Replies
2
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
20
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
1K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
30
Views
5K
Top