Astronomers have discovered the first "sleeping" black hole outside the Milky Way

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Astronomers have discovered the first "sleeping" black hole outside the Milky Way
Astronomers have discovered the first "sleeping" black hole outside the Milky Way
19 July, 14:45SciencePhoto: ESO/L. Calçada
The discovery was made by scientists who usually expose such studies.

Nature Astronomy has published a study of the "black hole police," as the group of experts known for exposing the "discoveries" of black holes calls themselves. Among others, the group includes Karim El-Badri, an astronomer at the Harvard Center for Astrophysics and the Smithsonian Institution, nicknamed "the destroyer of black holes". For the first time, the publication of the "police" is not about exposing, but about discovering - they have discovered an inactive stellar-mass black hole in the Large Magellanic Cloud - a galaxy next to the Milky Way. The star that gave birth to the black hole disappeared without any sign of a powerful explosion. This is the first discovery of its kind, according to phys.org.

Stellar-mass black holes form when massive stars reach the end of their lives and collapse under their own gravity. In a binary system, when two stars orbit each other, after the death of one star, the black hole is left in orbit with a luminous companion star. An inactive black hole is a black hole that does not emit high levels of X-rays - the latter usually allows them to be detected.

The dormant black hole, named VFTS 243, is at least nine times the mass of the Sun and orbits a hot blue star with 25 times the mass of the Sun. It is located in the Tarantula Nebula region of the Large Magellanic Cloud. The researchers suggest that the star that gave birth to VFTS243 disappeared without any signs of an associated supernova explosion. This allows us to take a fresh look at the evolution of black holes, suggesting the possibility of a "direct collapse scenario", that is, a collapse without an explosion.

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