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The mysterious 70 solar-mass black hole, LB1, 15,000 light years away RSS feed
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Joined: 17/10/2019
Messages: 122
Location: Mount Kuring-Gai NSW Australia
In a November 28, 2019 article at The Conversation, Roberto Soria,
a professor at the Sydney University of Sydney School of Physics,
discusses a mystery around the origin of a black hole dubbed LB-1,
which is about 15,000 light years away and is about 70 times as heavy as
the Sun.

Roberto Soria wrote:
This is very surprising for astronomers like me. The black hole seems too big to be the product of a single star collapsing, which poses questions for our theories of how black holes form.

Roberto Soria wrote:
What’s normal for a black hole?

Astronomers estimate that our galaxy alone contains about 100 million black holes, created when massive stars have collapsed over the past 13 billion years.

Most of them are inactive and invisible. A relatively small number are sucking in gas from a companion star in orbit around them. This gas releases energy in the form of radiation we can see with telescopes (mostly X-rays), often accompanied by winds and jets.

Until a few years ago, the only way to spot a potential black hole was to look for these X-rays, coming from a bright point-like source.

About two dozen black holes in our galaxy have been identified and measured with this method. They are different sizes, but all between about five and 20 times as heavy as the Sun.

We generally assumed this was the typical mass of all the black hole population in the Milky Way. However, this may be incorrect; active black holes may not be representative of the whole population.

Roberto Soria wrote:
LB-1 is the first major result of our search with LAMOST. We saw a star eight times bigger than the Sun, orbiting a dark companion about 70 times as heavy as the Sun. Each orbit took 79 days, and the pair are about one and a half times as far away from each other as Earth and the Sun.

Roberto Soria wrote:
Where did it come from?

How was LB-1 formed? It is unlikely that it came from the collapse of a single massive star: we think that any big star would lose more mass via stellar winds before it collapsed into a black hole.

One possibility is that two smaller black holes may have formed independently from two stars and then merged (or they may still be orbiting each other).

Another more plausible scenario is that one “ordinary” stellar black hole became engulfed by a massive companion star. The black hole would then swallow most of the host star like a wasp larva inside a caterpillar.

The discovery of LB-1 fits nicely with recent results from the LIGO-Virgo gravitational wave detectors, which catch the ripples in spacetime caused when stellar black holes in distant galaxies collide.

Full article here :-

"A wide star–black-hole binary system from radial-velocity measurements"
by Liu et. al. Nature, abstract :-

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