A group of astronomers has found the first dormant black hole outside the Milky Way. It is called VFTS 243.
So, what makes this discovery special? It is said that dormant black holes do not emit a light that’s detectable, which means they are really hard to find. This discovery will give experts a idea about the formation and evolution of black holes.
Astronomers believe that there are hundreds of similar dormant black holes across the Milky Way and the Large Magellanic Cloud.
But the ultimate question is, why is the discovery of VFTS 243 important? Expert says that a lot of black holes with a mass of fewer than 100 suns were formed after a massive star has collapsed. Most of the time, this would cause a big explosion also known as a supernova.
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However, the black hole in VFTS 243 system still sits in a circular orbit with the star. There’s a big chance that there was never a supernova explosion since it would have pushed the black hole out of the system, or at least disrupted its orbit.
Instead, it is believed that it collapsed directly to form a black hole, even without an explosion.
The VFTS 243 and similar systems that are yet to be discovered are really important to future research. Why? Well, as of today, astronomers have detected about 100 events involving black holes merging and producing ripples in space-time. However, how such binary black hole systems form is yet to be known.
Source: Ars Technica