THIS NEW DISCOVERY WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING, Astronomers detect the first potential 'rogue' black hole – YouTube

THIS NEW DISCOVERY WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING, Astronomers detect the first potential 'rogue' black hole

  • Video Views: 3333
  • Published On: 2022-04-15 05:38:14
  • Video Published/Author: NASA Space News
  • Video Duration: 00:02:26
  • Source: Watch on YouTube

Each second, a brand new baby black hole is born somewhere in the cosmos as a massive star collapses under its own weight. However, black holes are not visible to the naked eye. Astronomers have previously only been able to detect these stellar-mass black holes when they are acting on a companion.
A team of scientists has now verified the first-ever finding of a stellar-mass black hole that is absolutely alone. The discovery opens the door to the potential of finding even more, which is an interesting prospect given that there should be roughly 100 million such “rogue” black holes wandering around our galaxy unnoticed.

After decades of searching, astronomers have finally discovered an isolated stellar-mass black hole. The yet-to-be-named renegade black hole is located around 5,200 light-years distant from the centre of our galaxy and weighs little more than seven times the mass of the Sun. It’s travelling faster than almost all of the visible stars in its area, which suggests how it formed.

“This black hole seems to have gotten a natal kick at birth that sent it speeding away,” says Kailash Sahu, an astronomer who led the study.

To discover it, the team combined two cosmic techniques to spot the black hole: gravitational lensing and astrometry.
When a celestial object passes very close to a more distant star in the sky from our line of sight, the starlight bends as it travels past the closer object. If the foreground object doing the bending is relatively small, say, a planet, star, or black hole, rather than an entire galaxy or galaxy cluster — the process is called, specifically, microlensing.

But black holes can’t be confirmed by microlensing alone. A small, faint star moving slowly could masquerade as a black hole. It too would produce a long signal, due to its slow speed, and if the star is dim enough, astronomers might not see it.

That’s where astrometry comes in. This technique involves making precise measurements of an object’s position. By seeing how much the background star’s position appears to shift during a microlensing event, by using Space or ground-based telescopes.

Sahu says. “By finding more that are isolated, we’ll be better able to understand what the true black hole population is like and learn even more about the ghosts that haunt our galaxy.”

Narrated by:
Sheridan Echols

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