On the left is an optical image showing the Cygnus X-1 marked with a red square.  On the right is an artist's view of a black hole's outer layers pulling material from the companion star and forming an accretion disk.

Astronomers have found a particularly deceptive black hole – Ars Technica

VFTS 243 is a binary system consisting of a large, hot blue star and a black hole orbiting each other, as seen in this animation.

There is always something new and exciting happening in the field of black hole research.

Albert Einstein published his book for the first time explaining General theory of relativity– which postulated the existence of black holes – in 1922. A hundred years later, astronomers took real pictures Images of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way. In a recent research paper, a team of astronomers describes another exciting new discovery: The first “dormant” black hole Observed outside the galaxy.

I am an astrophysicist who has studied black holes – the densest objects in the universe – for nearly two decades. Inert black holes are black holes that do not emit any detectable light. Hence, it is difficult to find. This new discovery is exciting because it provides insight into the formation and evolution of black holes. This information is vital to understanding gravitational waves In addition to other astronomical events.

What exactly is VFTS 243?

VFTS 243 is a binary system, meaning that it consists of two objects that rotate around a common center of mass. The first object is a file very hot blue star Its mass is 25 times the mass of the sun, and the second is a black hole nine times larger than the sun. VFTS 243 is located in the Tarantula Nebula within the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way located About 163,000 light-years from Earth.

This video begins with a view of the Milky Way and grows up to VFTS 243, located in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

The black hole in VFTS 243 is considered dormant because it does not emit any detectable radiation. This is in stark contrast to other binary systems that A strong X-ray was detected from the black hole.

The black hole is about 33 miles (54 kilometers) in diameter and dwindles in front of the active star, which is about 200,000 times more massive. Both rotate rapidly around a common center of mass. Even with the most powerful telescopes, the system appears visible as a single blue dot.

Searching for dormant black holes

Astronomers believe there are hundreds of such non-X-ray black hole binary systems hiding in the Milky Way and the Large Magellanic Cloud. Black holes appear more easily when they are Stripping matter from a companion stara process known as “feeding”.

The feeding results in a disk of gas and dust surrounding the black hole. As the material in the disk falls inward toward the black hole, friction causes the accretion disk to heat up to millions of degrees. These hot disks of matter emit a huge amount of X-rays. The first black hole to be discovered in this way is the famous hole Cygnus X-1 . System.

Zoom / On the left is an optical image showing the Cygnus X-1 marked with a red square. On the right is an artist’s view of a black hole’s outer layers pulling material from the companion star and forming an accretion disk.

Astronomers have known this for years VFTS 243 is a binary system, but whether the system is a pair of stars or a dance between a single star and a black hole is unclear. To determine which was correct, the team studying the binary system used a technique called Spectral Deinterlace. This technology separates light from VFTS 243 into its component wavelengths, which is similar to what happens when white light enters a prism and the different colors are produced.

This analysis showed that the light from VFTS 243 was From one source, not two separate stars. With no detectable radiation emitted by the star’s companion, the only possible conclusion was that the second object within the binary is a black hole, and thus the first dormant black hole found outside the Milky Way.

In VFTS 243, the stellar companion and the black hole (which are not visible at large) orbit each other.  Note that no cumulative disk is present.
Zoom / In VFTS 243, the stellar companion and the black hole (which are not visible at large) orbit each other. Note that no rollup disk is present.

Why is VFTS 243 so important?

Most black holes with a mass less than 100 suns are formed from the collapse of a massive star. When this happens, there is often a file A massive explosion known as a supernova.

The fact that the black hole in VFTS 243 is in a circular orbit with the star is strong evidence that there was no supernova explosion, which would otherwise have occurred. Kick the black hole Out of order – or at least orbit crash. Instead, it looks like the progenitor star immediately collapsed To form a black hole without an explosion.

The massive star in VFTS 243 will only live another 5 million years — in the blink of an eye at astronomical timescales. The death of the star should lead to the formation of another black hole, turning VFTS 243 into a black hole binary.

So far, astronomers have detected nearly 100 events where binary black holes have merged and Produced ripples in spacetime. But how these binary black hole systems form is still unknown, which is why VFTS 243 and similar yet-to-be-discovered systems are so essential for future research. Perhaps nature has a sense of humor – because black holes are the darkest things in existence and emit no light, yet they illuminate our basic understanding of the universe.
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So GinsburgAcademic College of Physics and Astronomy, Georgia State University. This article has been republished from Conversation Under a Creative Commons License. Read the original article.

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