Scientists have found that the mass of the sun is three times the mass of our sun One of the smallest black holes on record, closest to the earth Discovered so far: 1,500 light years.
Researchers They call him a “unicorn”, partly because he is one of them so far, Partly because it was found in the “Unicorn” constellation of Monoceros. The results of the study were published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
“When we looked at the data, this black hole unicorn appeared”Said Tharindu Jayasinghe, a PhD student in Astronomy at Ohio State University.
Unicorns have approximatelyIt is three times the mass of the sun and is very small, with only one black hole. There are almost no black holes of this mass found in the universe. This black hole is 1,500 light-years away from Earth and is still in the Milky Way. And, until Jayasinghe began to analyze it, it was basically hidden in a clear line of sight.
The black hole seems to be the companion of the red giant, which means that the two are connected by gravity. Scientists cannot see black holes. By definition, Not only visually, but also darkness as a tool used by astronomers to measure light and other wavelengths.
But in this case They can see the companion star of the black hole. This star has been well recorded by telescope systems including TESS. This is a NASA satellite that is currently searching for planets outside of our solar system. Data on this is widely available, but has not yet been analyzed in this way.
When Jayasinghe and other researchers analyzed the data, they noticed that something they could not see seemed to be orbiting the red giant, causing it The light from that star will change the intensity and appearance of points around the orbit.
They realized that He is pulling the red giant and changing its shape. This pulling effect, called tidal distortion, causes astronomers to send out some kind of signal affecting stars. One option is a black hole, but it must be smaller, less than five times the mass of our sun, and fall into a size window called the “mass gap” by astronomers. Until recently, astronomers considered the possibility of black holes of this mass.
Chris Steineck, professor of astronomy at Ohio State University and research co-author, said: “When we look at it in a different way, this is what we are doing, and we find different things. So many other people saw something, instead of excluding the possibility that it could be a black hole, he said: “Well, what if it could be a black hole?”
The destruction of the tide is produced by the tidal force of an invisible partner: a black hole. “Just as the gravity of the moon distorted the earth’s oceans, it caused the oceans to expand toward the moon and away from the moon, resulting in high tides. The black hole distorts the stars in a way similar to a football, where one axis of the football is longer than the other.. The co-author of the study, Todd Thompson, chairman of the Ohio Astronomical Bureau, said in a statement. “The simplest explanation is that it is a black hole. In this case, the most likely explanation is.”
The red giant’s speed, orbital period, and the way in which tidal forces distort the red giant told them the mass of the black hole, leading them to the following conclusions: This black hole has approximately three solar masses.
In the past decade or so, astronomers and astrophysicists have wondered if they have not found these black holes because the systems and methods they used are not complex enough to find them. Or they want to know, They just don’t exist?
Then, about 18 months ago, many members of this research team led by Thompson published a scientific paper in the journal Science. There is strong evidence that such black holes exist. This discovery prompted Jayasinghe and others to seriously search for smaller black holes. This assessment led them to the unicorn.
Find and Study black holes and neutron stars in the Milky Way Essential for scientists studying space Because it tells them how stars form and die.
However, almost by definition, it is difficult to discover and study black holes: A single black hole does not emit the same kind of rays as other objects emit in space. For the research team, they are electromagnetically silent and dark. Most of the known black holes have been discovered because they interact with their companion stars to produce many X-rays, and those X-rays are visible to astronomers.