Wandering black hole may be the tiny one known

A single black hole discovered some time ago may turn out to be the tiniest known person. If the new estimate of its mass is correct, it can tell a lot about the evolution of stars.

A single black hole. Source: newatlas.com

Wandering black hole gets new mass estimate

Recently, the scientific world was stirred up by the news of the discovery of the first isolated black hole. Previously, binary systems were found only in binary systems, where they are not only produced by the absorption of matter, but also by gravitational interaction.

This time the invisible body gave out gravitational lensing. The wandering black hole was located at a distance of 5,000 light-years from us and its gravitational force distorted and amplified the light of the star behind it at a distance of 19 thousand light-years from us.

The authors of the study then estimated the mass of the object at 7.1 times the mass of our luminary. However, recently another team used the same initial data and estimated the black hole at only 1.6-4.4 times the mass of the Sun, and this not only made the new black hole the smallest known, but also raised the question of the evolutionary paths of such objects.

Microlensing effect. Source: NASA, ESA, etc.

What is the minimum possible mass of a black hole

When a supernova explodes, most of its mass is ejected outward, and a smaller one forms a compact remnant. Therefore, black holes are usually formed by vision with a mass of 20 solar. No such object weighing less than 5 times the mass of the Sun has yet been found. 

On the other hand, neutron stars can be formed by the explosion of supernovae with a mass of 8 to 20 solar. Their weight can reach 2.3 times the mass of our luminary, although such large pulsars or magnetars are also unknown.

Nobody knows what supernova remnants really look like in the mass range from 2 to 5 solar masses. And it is this gap that almost completely covers the new estimate of the weight of the “wandering invisible”. Even if we take it closer to the upper limit, it will greatly advance our knowledge of stellar evolution.

If the mass of the black hole turns out to be below the lower estimate, then this can seriously change our views on the universe in general. Because most of the supernova remnants will turn out to be not neutron stars, but black holes, which means there are significantly more of them in the universe.

According to www.space.com

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