Discovered a dormant black hole (VFTS 243) nine times the mass of the Sun has been found outside the Milky Way for the first time.
The study published in Nature Astronomy
The researchers had been looking for black hole binary systems for more than two years before finding what has become known as VFTS243.
Stellar-mass black holes are formed when massive stars reach the end of their lives and collapse under their own gravity.
In a system of two stars revolving around each other, this process leaves behind a black hole in orbit with a luminous companion star.
The newly discovered dormant black hole is at least nine times the mass of the Earth’s Sun, and orbits a hot blue star weighing 25 times as much as the Sun.
It has been observed in a neighbouring galaxy; the study Suggests that the star that gave rise to VFTS243 vanished without any sign of an associated supernova explosion.
The newly found black hole is at least nine times the mass of the Sun, and orbits a hot, blue star weighing 25 times the Sun's mass.
Confirming the likelihood of what he termed a “direct-collapse scenario”, ie, a collapse without an explosion, This has “enormous implications for the origin of black hole mergers in the cosmos”.
A black hole is considered dormant if it does not emit high levels of X-ray radiation, which is how such black holes are typically detected.
Dormant black holes are hard to spot as they do not interact much with their surroundings.
VFTS 243 was found using six years of observations of the Tarantula Nebula by the fibre large array multi element spectrograph instrument on the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope.