If the first-ever image of Black Hole wasn’t enough, here is an entirely new class of undiscovered black holes.
According to Space.com, scientists have discovered a strange-looking black hole using a new detection method. The new research could become the base for finding millions of new black holes.
Black Holes are difficult to Spot
Despite scientists theorizing the existence of over a million black holes, spotting them has been a tough job. Simply put, black holes swallow light which makes it extremely difficult to locate them.
Currently, scientists spot black holes that are in binary pairs with stars. As the black hole takes away matter from the nearby star, it emits X-rays which makes them easy to spot.
However, the problem is that many black holes in such star pairs don’t emit enough strong signals. This is possible when the black hole is not orbiting close enough to the star.
New Technique Detects Dimmer Black Holes
According to the new study, researchers have managed to find a low-mass black hole using a whole new technique. Todd Thompson, a professor at Ohio State University and the lead author of the study, said that spotting it was “needle-in-the-haystack kind of search.”
The team started off by analyzing over 100,000 stars using previous spectroscopy data. Later, the team looked at the Doppler shift of the stars, i.e., it’s where scientists analyze the brightness of the star going up and down. This happens when something big is orbiting the star, therefore blocking the light frequently.
Later, the scientists were able to pinpoint the binary star system made up of the giant star 2MASS J05215658+4359220. Since the brightness kept changing, scientists were able to identify a low-mass black hole.
The new methodology would come up extremely useful in the future since it would help in finding black holes that were previously overlooked.
According to Thompson, “This was our first candidate. [We’re] working on trying to find new candidates using the same search method.”