Researchers at Ohio State University suggest that there might be a whole class of miniature black holes that we had not investigated.
In their extensive research paper in the top academic journal Science, they put forward their findings by entirely new detection method showing that a block hole orbiting the Giant star J05215658. Lead author on the study, Todd Thompson expressed in a statement that,
“We’re showing this hint that there is another population out there that we have yet to really probe in the search for black holes.”
Thompson’s team shows that J05215658 is being orbited by a massive unobserved companion, and they suspect it might be a new class of black holes all together.
Moreover, the team added that the new black hole is likely to be 3.3 times more massive than the sun, which makes it the lowest mass black hole discovered so far.
Generally, it has been observed that a binary system like this in which a black hole orbits a star — is easy to detect because the black hole’s enormous gravitational force pulls material from the star, which subsequently, lighting up the black hole with its radiation.
Astronomers can detect it from Earth-based telescope, but if the black hole is too small, it might not be interacting with the star in this binary fashion way and remains invisible. That’s the case with these tiny family of black hole around J05215658.
There is another viewpoint which labels these mysterious object as a large neutron star. When stars die, they have two options for their cosmic afterlife — stars with heavy mass formed a black hole and little stars become a dead, neutron star. Neutron stars are highly dense.
This discovery causes quite a stir among the community of scientists. There is always some wiggle room left for future uncoverings, and these investigations actually help us all to establish facts about the universe.
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