Dormant black hole discovered outside our galaxy

The "Police of Black Holes", involving the Argelander Institute for Astronomy (AIfA), reveals a stellar-mass black hole.

An international team of experts, including researchers from Prof. Dr. Nobert Langer's group, has discovered a stellar black hole in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighboring galaxy to our own. They found that the star from which the black hole formed disappeared without evidence of a powerful explosion. This discovery was made thanks to six years of observations with the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the European Southern Observatory (ESO). 

Team of the AIfA involved
Research groups from around the world were involved in the study. The team, led by Prof. Dr. Nobert Langer of the Argelander Institute at the University of Bonn, used state-of-the-art calculations of binary star system evolution to show that up to three percent of all stars heavier than 15 solar masses could have a dormant black hole companion. Although other similar black hole candidates have been proposed, the team claims that this is the first "dormant" stellar-mass black hole clearly discovered outside our galaxy.

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This study was published in the journal "Nature Astronomy".

  • 20.07.2022