Home » News & Blogs » When David Poses as Goliath: A Stripped Helium Star Solves the Massive Black Hole Mystery
Bookmark and Share
Astro Watch

When David Poses as Goliath: A Stripped Helium Star Solves the Massive Black Hole Mystery

16 Jan 2020, 12:18 UTC
When David Poses as Goliath: A Stripped Helium Star Solves the Massive Black Hole Mystery
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Stellar black holes form when massive stars end their life in a dramatic collapse. Observations have shown that stellar black holes typically have masses of about ten times that of the Sun, in accordance with the theory of stellar evolution. Recently, a Chinese team of astronomers claimed to have discovered a black hole as massive as 70 solar masses, which, if confirmed, would severely challenge the current view of stellar evolution.The publication immediately triggered theoretical investigations as well as additional observations by other astrophysicists. Among those to take a closer look at the object was a team of astronomers from the Universities of Erlangen-Nürnberg and Potsdam. They discovered that it may not necessarily be a black hole at all, but possibly a massive neutron star or even an ‘ordinary’ star. Their results have now been published as a highlight-paper in the renowned journal ‘Astronomy & Astrophysics’.The putative black hole was detected indirectly from the motion of a bright companion star, orbiting an invisible compact object over a period of about 80 days. From new observations, a Belgian team showed that the original measurements were misinterpreted and that the mass of the black hole is, in fact, very uncertain. The most ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod