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Fri Nov 29, 2019, 06:05 PM

Discovery Of Enormous Stellar Mass Black Hole Perplexes Astronomers

Nov 29, 2019, 04:35pm

Don Lincoln Contributor

Illustration of a black hole. A black hole is a region of spacetime where the gravity is so powerful ... [+]GETTY

Black holes are mysterious enough, with their ability to warp space and to stop the passage of time. They sound like science fiction, rather than science fact, but there is no doubt that they exist. However, there remain many mysteries in the details in the range of masses they can have and how some of the more unusual ones form. And the surprises keep incoming, for example a recent announcement by the Chinese Academy of Sciences of a black hole within our galaxy with a mass of about 70 times that of the sun. This is twice as big as current theory can explain.

Black holes are formed in a number of ways. There is a class of enormous black holes found at the center of nearly every galaxy, millions or even billions of times heavier than our sun. But much more common are stellar-mass black holes, which are the husks of long-dead stars. These black holes have the mass between three or four times the mass of our sun to about thirty solar masses. They give off no light and absorb all matter that falls into them. An isolated black hole is completely invisible and can be detected only by its enormous gravitational effect on any companions.

The word “isolated” is important, as black holes have been observed by their interactions with their surroundings. Many black holes have a companion star or are immersed in a cloud of gas. In both cases, the black hole can pull gas or even entire stars down into it. As the material falls into the hole, it heats up and emits forms of light from the visible light to x-rays and even more energetic. Perhaps ironically, this glowing material can make an otherwise-invisible black hole easily detectable obj – often incredibly bright against the cold blackness of space.

However, if a black hole isn’t feeding on its surroundings, finding it is much harder and, even then, it is only through its interactions with other objects that astronomers can find them. That’s what the researchers in the most recent announcement did.


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Reply Discovery Of Enormous Stellar Mass Black Hole Perplexes Astronomers (Original post)
Judi Lynn Nov 29 OP
Judi Lynn Nov 29 #1
Judi Lynn Nov 29 #2
cstanleytech Nov 29 #3
Judi Lynn Nov 29 #4

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Nov 29, 2019, 06:09 PM

1. Chinese astronomers discovered a black hole so big it shouldn't exist according to current science

Sinéad Baker 11 hours ago

Chinese scientists have discovered a black hole that's so big it throws into question previous beliefs about how black holes are formed.

The newly discovered stellar black hole, called LB-1, has a mass 70 times that of our sun, China's Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

The statement noted that scientists had previously believed that an individual stellar black hole — formed when a star collapses — in our galaxy could weigh only as much as 20 times the mass of our sun.

This is because stars are thought to lose their gas as they die and lose mass as a result.


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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Nov 29, 2019, 06:25 PM

2. Researchers discover stellar black hole too large for science to explain

NOV. 29, 2019 / 1:08 PM

By Ben Hooper

Scientists in China discovered a stellar black hole they found so large that current scientific theory says it shouldn't exist. Artist impression courtesy of Yu Jingchuan/Beijing Planetarium

Nov. 29 (UPI) -- A team of scientists based in China announced the discovery of a stellar black hole so large that science currently lacks an explanation for it.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences said researchers at the academy's National Astronomical Observatory of China discovered LB-1, a black hole about 15,000 light years from earth and with a mass roughly 70 times greater than our sun.

LB-1 is a stellar black hole, meaning it was formed by the explosion of a collapsing star, and scientists previously believed a black hole of this type could reach a size of no larger than 20 times the mass of our sun due to matter being lost to stellar winds during the star's collapse.

"Black holes of such mass should not even exist in our galaxy, according to most of the current models of stellar evolution," project leader Liu Jifeng said. "LB-1 is twice as massive as what we thought possible. Now theorists will have to take up the challenge of explaining its formation."


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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 29, 2019, 07:00 PM

3. Perhaps it is the result of a merger of two black holes?

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 29, 2019, 11:14 PM

4. Absolutely mind-blowing, but have read that it has happened elsewhere. n/t

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