Tags: black hole | astronomy | astrophysics | science

Chinese Researchers Discover 'Monster Black Hole' Too Big to Exist

Chinese Researchers Discover 'Monster Black Hole' Too Big to Exist
Professor LIU Jifeng of the National Astronomical Observatory of China of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) introduces the discovery of a king-size, stellar-mass black hole in Earth's "cosmic backyard" containing the mass of 70 suns. (Imaginechina via AP Images)

By    |   Friday, 29 November 2019 02:42 PM

Chinese scientists have discovered a black hole more than 70 times the mass of our sun, several times greater than previously thought possible, located about 15,000 light years away.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences announced the discovery of the black hole, known as LB-1, in a press release this week, which coincided with the findings being published by Nature on Wednesday.

"Black holes of such mass should not even exist in our Galaxy, according to most of the current models of stellar evolution," Prof. Jifeng Liu, the deputy-director of the National Astronomical Observatory of China and the head of the research team, said in the press release.

"We thought that very massive stars with the chemical composition typical of our Galaxy must shed most of their gas in powerful stellar winds, as they approach the end of their life. Therefore, they should not leave behind such a massive remnant. LB-1 is twice as massive as what we thought possible. Now theorists will have to take up the challenge of explaining its formation."

The researchers note that another possible explanation is that the black hole formed from a “fallback supernova,” which is a theoretical event wherein a supernova expels materials that are then sucked back into the supernova and creates a black hole.

"This discovery forces us to re-examine our models of how stellar-mass black holes form," said Prof. David Reitze of the University of Florida, who is the director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory.

"This remarkable result along with the LIGO-Virgo detections of binary black hole collisions during the past four years really points towards a renaissance in our understanding of black hole astrophysics," he added. 

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Chinese scientists have discovered a black hole more than 70 times the mass of our sun, several times greater than previously thought possible, located about 15,000 light years away.
black hole, astronomy, astrophysics, science
277
2019-42-29
Friday, 29 November 2019 02:42 PM
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