Sci/Tech The discovery of an epic black hole is defying astronomical theory

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  1. tom_mai78101

    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

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    Astrophysicists estimate that our Milky Way Galaxy alone is home to 100 million stellar black holes, and scientists have estimated through theoretical models that these black holes are no bigger than 20 times the mass of our sun.

    But the Chinese Academy of Sciences has recently found a black hole that appears to be a whopping 70 times the mass of our sun. And it’s only 15 thousand light-years from Earth. Scientists say this discovery now throws into question long-standing theories about how black holes develop.

    The study describing this discovery was published this week in the journal Nature, and details the unusual method the authors used to discover this black hole, referred to as LB-1, as well as possible origin stories for the behemoth.

    Traditionally, black holes are identified by observing X-ray emissions created after a black hole has gobbled up its companion star (kind of like an after-dinner belch). However, of all of the black holes predicted to exist in our galaxy and beyond, the majority are living more peacefully with their companion stars and thus don’t emit these tell-tale X-rays to help astrophysicists find them. As the study’s authors found, such was the case for LB-1.


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