The first black hole to wander freely among the stars has been revealed

2022-05-02 0 By

An international team of researchers confirmed that a “microlensing” event they witnessed in 2011 was caused by a lone black hole roaming freely in interstellar space, the first time scientists have ever observed such a black hole, physicists reported Friday.The researchers also measured the black hole’s mass and how fast it was moving.Scientists have long believed that there are many black holes roaming freely in interstellar space, but have not found them before.That’s because black holes are in the black background of space, so they’re hard to spot.Previous studies have shown that typically at the end of a star’s life, its core collapses, possibly forming a black hole.In this study, the team used the effect of “microlensing” to discover the “wandering child” in interstellar space.The so-called “microlensing” effect is when a foreground object passes in front of a background star and some of the light from the background star is bent by the gravity of the foreground object, causing the background star to appear suddenly brighter.But microlensing is weak at great distances, making it hard for even the best modern telescopes to detect.But in 2011, two teams looking for this “microlensing” effect, using the Hubble Space Telescope, discovered a star that seemed to be brightening for no apparent reason.Intrigued, a team of researchers led by Kailash Sahu, an astronomer at Johns Hopkins University, set out to analyze Hubble data.Since then they have been watching for changes in the light, hoping that the increase in brightness is caused by the black hole.Then they found that the star’s position seemed to change.The researchers believe the change could only be caused by an invisible moving object, such as a black hole, exerting a gravitational pull on the light from the star as it passed by.The researchers then went on to study the star and its light, confirming that the brightness of the light from the star was increased for a long time, and ultimately confirming the existence of the black hole.The researchers say this is strong evidence that they have found a free-floating black hole.And they even measured its mass at about seven times the mass of the sun, traveling at about 45 kilometers per second.Source: Science and Technology Daily (reporter Liu Xia) Read: Sun Shijian