In a recently published study, researchers from Ohio State University detailed the potential existence of a new class of black holes. Scientists believe that the latest findings will help astronomers to find and catalog black holes going forward.
In case you didn’t know, black holes are result of dead stars and have strong gravitational pulls around them. Although most of the black holes have 5 to 15 times the mass of our Sun, recent discoveries revealed that this can be as high as 31 times. While the earlier discovery suggested that black holes can be significantly bigger than we have known for a long time, the latest discovery reveals that there might be another class of smaller black holes.
After analyzing data from the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE), the researchers found that a giant red start was orbiting something. Interestingly, the object was much smaller than the black holes found in our galaxy. After analyzing the data, the astronomers revealed that they might have found a black hole that has relatively low mass of 3.3 times of that of our Sun.
Talking about the latest discovery, lead author Todd Thompson said, “What we’ve done here is come up with a new way to search for black holes, but we’ve also potentially identified one of the first of a new class of low-mass black holes that astronomers hadn’t previously known about. The masses of things tell us about their formation and evolution, and they tell us about their nature.”