bite off a piece. Then two. Then three. four. Maybe five. And throw a cookie across the kitchen. A number of children do that. Some black holes we learn today from astronomers. Not in the kitchen, but in the galaxy. Not with cookies either, but with stars …
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In the family of black holes, there are supermassive black holes that we are beginning to know a lot about now. There are also what astronomers call primordial black holes and stellar black holes. And finally, intermediate black holes. It is precisely that of a team researchers Northwestern University (United States) talking to us today.
The theory declares that it exists. Somewhere between stellar-mass black holes – the result of the collapse of stars that previously exploded as supernovae – and supermassive black holes – nesting in the hearts of galaxies. Black holes average between 10 and 10,000 times the mass of our Sun. Black holes that could have formed by merging stellar black holes into dense stellar clusters or by the collapse of particularly massive stars. But astronomers are still looking for indisputable observational evidence that such objects do exist in our universe.
Researchers believe they have already discovered evidence of intermediate black holes. But their observations could easily match, for example, stellar black hole accretion. To finally tell the real average black holes from the fake black holes, astronomers need to know more about their behavior. This is exactly what the researchers did Northwestern University I worked.
The evidence that astronomers are waiting for?
They have developed new 3D hydrodynamic simulations of black holes of varying masses. Then they predicted stars the size of our sun on it. Star patterns, of course. It consists of so many particles that they can tell whether or not they are related to their parent star. Individually. Because they were able to calculate the gravitational force acting on each particle.
What astronomers have discovered is that a star can orbit an average black hole up to five times before it is finally ejected. With each of the passes, the black hole crushes a piece of it. A bit of a matter that he swallows it right away. before finally charging what’s left of the star – its incredibly dense and distorted core – at lightning speed through the galaxy. Such exiled stars are the ultra-fast stars that researchers have discovered at the center of many galaxies.
All of these tiny swirls, the simulation predicts, should result in a breathtaking light show. Emitting increasingly bright flashes as the star shredded. A signature that could finally constitute the famous and indisputable evidence for the real existence of intermediate black holes. The chase continues…
But the researchers are already planning to re-launch their simulations on different types of stars. Giant stars or even double stars. In order to understand more about how intermediate black holes work. And to determine the maximum number of footprints they can leave in our universe.
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