After confirming that there is Sagittarius A*the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, one of these remarkable – and in some ways still mysterious – celestial bodies is taking the stage of scientific discovery, as astronomers may have discovered floating black hole somewhere in our galaxy.
This is the first time that such an orb has been identified, a discovery that was made possible thanks to the so-called microgravity. This is a technique that allows you to observe black holes indirectly through the strong distortions that the gravitational field of these massive objects causes on the light emitted by the star.
Astronomers may have discovered a ‘dark’ floating black holehttps://t.co/d70zahgApG
University of California at Berkeley (UCBerkeley) June 10, 2022
At the beginning of June, the research team ofUniversity of California at Berkeleydriven by Casey L And the Jessica Lowa study concerning the existence of a moving black hole, which, however, could also be a neutron star.
In fact, researchers estimated The mass of this invisible and wandering object is between 1.6 and 4.4 times the mass of our sun Since the finite star must have a mass of at least 2.2 times the mass of the Sun to collapse into a black hole, doubts about the true nature of the observed object remain.
Jessica Lu, associate professor of astronomy at UC Berkeley, reiterates how the discovery of a floating black hole represents an important step toward knowledge and identification of other black holes in the future:
This is the first floating neutron star or black hole to be discovered using a gravitational microlensing. Thanks to this technology, we are able to examine and weigh these single, compressed objects. I think we just opened a new window on these things that can’t be seen any other way.
The figure shows a typical set of microlensing events of stars and merged objects (colored dots) along with all the events we have studied so far (features). The duration of the event, the exact lens view, and the maximum astronomical shift really separate black holes. pic.twitter.com/lyWbyH10at
– Jessica Lowe (@jlu_astro) June 10, 2022
Read also: What is the largest black hole in the universe?
The UCLA researchers’ discovery will also have important implications for determining how many and which black holes actually inhabit the Milky Way, helping the scientific community better understand the evolution of stars, and in particular their deaths. It is associated with the emergence of black holes. All of this could also help shed new light on hypotheses about primordial black holes, the celestial bodies that cosmologists believe appeared in great numbers shortly after the Big Bang.
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”