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A new method has revealed the first “quiet” black hole lurking beyond our galaxy

The most hidden monsters are often the most interesting.

And most star-mass black holes are silent monsters, floating invisibly through the great abyss depths of space, showing no signs other than the bending of light by photons that deflect too close. This has forced astronomers to look for alternative means of finding them, such as stars that appear to be locked in a strong binary orbit with something that looks like nothing.

And for the first time, astronomers have successfully identified a black hole outside our galaxy using this unconventional technique, according to a recent study. published in the journal Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

This could be a crucial step in uncovering the evolution of black holes inside and outside our Milky Way.

How to spot a hidden black hole with a star mass

The suspicious movements of an orbital star have revealed a relatively small black hole in the Large Magellanic Cloud, which is a dwarf galaxy in orbit around ours, about 160,000 light-years away. Called NGC 1850, the black hole was discovered in a star cluster called NGC 1850 (celestial cartography is a logical practice) that contains thousands of stars. This recent discovery suggests that the method may be crucial in the search for black holes in highly populated star clusters, both inside and outside our vast Milky Way. “Like Sherlock Holmes, who follows a criminal gang from their wrong footsteps, we look at each star in this cluster with a magnifying glass in one hand, trying to find some evidence of black holes, but without seeing them directly,” he said. Sarah Sarazzino, an astrophysicist at Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom, in report from Scientific signal.

“The result shown here is just one of the wanted criminals, but when you find it, you are about to find many others, in different clusters,” Saresino added. Most of the black holes cataloged so far beyond our Milky Way have been easy to spot, as they emit inconsistent volumes of deadly radiation, meaning they actively suck indescribable scales from material that is the true source of radiation (since the black holes give out practically nothing). Astronomers have identified more black holes by gravitational waves since the first ones were discovered in 2015. This is when the subtle waves in the fabric of space-time itself are ejected in our direction as a result of a violent collision of two black holes. But despite all our progress, these mapped black holes are not even the tip of the space iceberg.

Baby black holes are in front of us

There could be 100 million star-mass black holes in our galaxy alone. Obviously we still have a lot to count. And that also means we have a lot to learn about these seemingly vicious pastes in the ancient depths of the darkest corners of the galaxy. But we do not need to look at them in the proverbial face to understand their properties, because the things they carry with them, such as gravitationally captured stars, will share their secrets the way they move.

From hundreds of thousands of light years away, these stars appear to be motionless. But the light of the stars themselves will change, its wavelength will stretch and contract as the solar furnace approaches and recedes from us. And then we know they are in the grip of a black hole. Continuing to study the black holes in young star clusters can reveal more about how colossal stars and neutron stars are forged in the black holes we know and fear. And since many of these star clusters are very young – NGC 1850 is only 100 million years old – there is a possibility to detect young black holes, which would provide a unique window into their complex and fascinating evolution.





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