Black hole: Unicorn

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The Unicorn Black Hole Could be the Smallest One in the Galaxy!

Learn the details of the ‘Unicorn’…learn more…

Tuesday, 27th April 2021

Recently scientists have spotted a ‘Black Hole’ in the midst of the galaxy called the Milky Way. This is perhaps the smallest ever known Black Hole and is also the one falling closest to the solar system. It has been nicknamed as ‘Unicorn’ and has awakened curiosity in the scientists and commoners alike.

The researchers stated that the newly found black hole is nearly thrice the sun’s mass, assessing the lower-extreme limits of the size of these uniquely dense objects coming with gravitational powers so very strong that not even the light can pass through.

An extraordinarily luminous star referred to as the red giant is found to orbit along with the intriguing black hole in a V723 Mon pattern, a so-called binary stellar system.

The distance between the Black Hole and the Earth is nearly 1, 500 light-years. While apparently, the Black Hole is the nearest to us, it’s far off still. When it comes to making a comparison, Proxima Centauri is the star lying closest to the solar system…at a distance of about four light-years from the solar system.

"We nicknamed this black hole 'the Unicorn' partly because V723 Mon is in the Monoceros constellation - which translates to a unicorn - and partly because it is a very unique system" as far as the mass of the Black Hole and the relative closeness of the Black Hole to the Earth is concerned, said Tharindu Jayasinghe, an astronomy doctorate student at the Ohio State University.

Also Read: NASA Announces Perseverance Rover's Success in Making Oxygen on The Red Planet.

Black Holes come in 3 different categories. The smallest of its kinds, like the newly detected ‘Unicorn’ is actually the so-called stellar-mass kind of Black Holes created when any single star undergoes a gravitational collapse. There is also the gargantuan, ‘super-massive type of Black Holes similar to the one at the center of our galaxy, nearly 26, 000 light-years away from the Earth, which is nearly four million times the mass of the sun. A couple of Black Holes consisting of the intermediate mass have also been traced with the masses somewhere in the midst.

"It is clear that nature makes black holes of a wide range of masses. But a three-solar-mass black hole is a big surprise. There are no very good models for how to make such a black hole, but I am sure people will work on that more now," said Kris Stanek, astronomy professor and research co-author at the Ohio State University.

"'The unicorn' is truly one of the smallest black holes possible," said Jayasinghe.

The strong gravity of the Black Hole changes its mate star’s shape through a phenomenon referred to as tidal distortion, causing it to assume an elongated shape rather than a spherical one and also causing changes in the light as it traverses along the orbital pathway. It was these impacts on the mate star, detected making use of the Earth-based as well as orbiting telescopes that clearly indicated the presence of the black hole.

"Black holes are electromagnetically dark, and so they are difficult to find," said Jayasinghe.

Unlike the certain other black holes that are orbiting along with a star, this particular one wasn’t seen as drawing the material from its mate, which actually is as much as 173 times brighter and luminous when compared to the sun.

The one and the only smaller potential black hole is possibly the one coming with a notable mass about 2.6 times that of the sun which was found to be the part of another galaxy, said Jayasinghe.

Another group of researchers described last year that a black hole about 1,000s of light-years away from our planet Earth, but many other researchers were doubtful as to whether it was a black hole at all.

The News Talkie Bureau



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