Science Astronomers Just Found the First Evidence That 'Mini Black Holes' Exist

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    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

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    An entirely new class of black holes may be lurking in the universe, and these may be far tinier than what scientists have found before, according to new findings.

    Black holes are massive celestial objects that gobble up everything that comes too close; not even light can escape a black hole's intense gravitational grasp. The search for black holes, small and large — such as the supermassive ones that sit at the center of most galaxies, including our own — helps researchers piece together how the universe works and creates a narrative for the life and death of stars.

    That's because black holes are the corpses of what used to be massive stars that underwent an explosive demise, ultimately collapsing in on themselves. The explosive death and subsequent collapse of stars can form two different objects. If the original star is massive enough, this explosion will yield a black hole, but if it's not, the corpse will instead form a small, dense object known as a neutron star.

    Astronomers typically search for these black holes in our own galaxy by measuring X-rays that are emitted when black holes siphon material from nearby stars. In distant galaxies, on the other hand, researchers look for gravitational waves produced by the merging of two black holes or from a collision of neutron stars.

    But a group of researchers wondered if there might be relatively low-mass black holes that don't emit the telltale X-ray signals of other black holes. Such hypothetical black holes would likely exist in a binary system with another star, though they would orbit far enough away from this star that they wouldn't eat much from their stellar companion; as such, the researchers surmised, these little black holes wouldn't give off detectable X-rays and so would remain invisible to astronomers, said Todd Thompson, a professor of astronomy at The Ohio State University and lead author of the study laying out the new findings.

    Read more here (LiveScience)

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