A BLACK hole has been discovered by astronomers who believe the rare dead star can unlock the question of whether there is life outside Earth.
A team of astronomers from Ohio State University claim to have discovered an object that belongs to a previously missing class of black holes. They believe the object hints there is “another population” out there in space. The new class suggests there could be black holes smaller than those currently known in the universe.
Astronomy Professor from Ohio State university, Todd Thompson, said in a statement: “We’re showing this hint that there is another population out there that we have yet to really probe in the search for black holes.
“People are trying to understand supernova explosions, how supermassive black stars explode, how the elements were formed in supermassive stars.
“So if we could reveal a new population of black holes, it would tell us more about which stars explode, which don’t, which form black holes, which form neutron stars.
“It opens up a new area of study.”
It comes as data has found black holes can be phenomenally big.
For example, Sagittarius A* – the gigantic black hole at the centre of the galaxy – has a radius of 22 million kilometres and a mass of more than four million times that of the sun.
The largest black hole to ever have been discovered is TON 618 which has a mass of 66 billion times that of the sun.
There are a few ways in which a black hole can form.
Scientists believe the most common instance is when a star, thousands of times the size of our sun, collapses in on itself when it dies – known as a supernova.
Another way is when a large amount of matter, which can be in the form of a gas cloud or a star collapses in on itself through its own gravitational pull.
Finally, the collision of two neutron stars can cause a black hole.
The gist of all three ways is that a massive amount of mass located in one spot can cause a black hole.
Black holes remain one of the most mysterious entities in the universe, but what is known of them is terrifying.
They completely break the laws of physics with their singularity at the centre.
This is when a one-dimensional point where gravity becomes infinite and space and time become curved.
The only other point in nature where a singularity existed is at the Big Bang when the universe came into existence.