Astronomers find biggest stellar black hole in Milky Way galaxy ‘by chance’ – Times of India

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I am an astronomer European Space Agency (ESA) has identified the largest. A stellar black holeName Gaya BH 3, discovered in the Milky Way, which has a mass 33 times that of the Sun. The black hole was discovered “by chance” during data collection by ESA The Gaia Mission And it imposes a strange motion on the companion star orbiting around it.
“Remarkably, this black hole is also very close to us – at just 2,000 light-years away in the constellation Aquila, it is the second-closest known black hole to Earth,” ESA said in a statement.
“No one expected to find a high-mass black hole lurking around, which has not yet been detected,” says Gaia collaboration member Pasquale Panzo, from the National Center for Scientific Research at the Observatoire de Paris. (CNRS) are astronomers – PSL, France. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime research discovery,” he said.
Data from the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (ESO’s VLT) and other ground-based observatories were used to confirm the black hole’s mass. The research study was published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
Stellar black holes are formed by the collapse of massive stars and those previously identified in the Milky Way are on average 10 times more massive than the Sun. Even the next largest known stellar black hole. The Milky Way GalaxyCygnus X-1, reaching only 21 solar masses, makes this new 33 solar mass observation unusual, the statement said.

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A comparison of several stellar black holes in our galaxy. Credit: ESA

To confirm its discovery, the Gaia collaboration used data from ground-based observatories, including from the Ultraviolet and Visible Achille Spectrograph instrument on ESO’s VLT, located in Chile’s Atacama Desert. These observations revealed key properties of the companion star, which, combined with Gaia data, allowed astronomers to accurately measure BH3’s mass.
Astronomers have found similar massive black holes outside the Milky Way galaxy, and theorize that they may have formed from the breakup of stars with chemical compositions heavier than hydrogen and helium. These so-called metal-poor stars are thought to lose less mass in their lifetime and therefore have more material left over to produce more massive black holes after their death. But evidence linking metal-poor stars directly to high-mass black holes is still lacking.
“We took the unusual step of publishing this paper based on preliminary data ahead of the upcoming release of Gaia because of the unique nature of the discovery,” said co-author Elisabetta Keifau.
Further observations of the system may reveal more about its history and the black hole itself. The GRAVITY instrument on ESO’s VLT interferometer, for example, can help astronomers determine whether a black hole is pulling matter from its surroundings and better understand this fascinating object.

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