An global team of scientists say they have discovered stellar-mass black hole with a mass 70 times greater than the sun is so large it defies the current theory on how the black hole of the shape of its kind.
The Milky Way galaxy is estimated to contain 100 million stellar black holes - cosmic bodies formed by the collapse of massive stars and so dense even light can't escape. A Chinese-led workforce found a stellar-mass black hole that seems to be 68 instances heftier than Earth's sun - practically 3 times larger than the heaviest such objects ought to be, based on present considering.
But the new discovery has toppled that assumption. If that's true, the black hole would be only 10 times the mass of the sun. But the black hole big stars like LB-1 would not be possible under this theory.
The discovery was a big surprise.
"This discovery forces us to re-examine our models of how stellar-mass black holes form", according to David Reitze, director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).
Scientists thought before the discovery of the new black hole that very massive stars with the chemical composition found in our Galaxy would shed most of their gas in powerful stellar winds as their end of life approached. "Therefore, they should not leave behind such a massive remnant", Liu added.
Artist's impression of LB-1.
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"Now theorists will have to take up the challenge of explaining its formation", Liu said.
Usually, black holes are highlighted by their significant X-rays and gamma rays activity, produced by their gobbling up of nearby gas and dust. As a result, only about 20 galactic stellar black holes have been accurately identified and measured.
The team used China's Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) to find stars orbiting objects that are seemingly invisible - a technique that had been proposed back in 1783, but hadn't really been possible until recently. The scientists backed up their observations with information from two different telescopes. This method indirectly leads us to the location of the black hole. For instance, the mass of the black hole is determined by its calculated distance. However, LB-1 has so much mass that should have been "blown away".
The discovery of the black hole also ties in with another recent astrophysics discovery - the detection of ripples in space-time caused by black hole collisions in distant galaxies. The other theory that has been considered is that the black hole was created from a "fallback supernova".
LB-1 is an example of a common type that most of the black hole: A black holes.
Scientists from China, the United States, Spain, Australia, Italy, Poland and the Netherlands participated in the research.