Surprising Black Hole Discovery Changes Picture of Globular Star Clusters |
An unexpected discovery by an international team of astronomers is forcing scientists to rethink their understanding of the environment in globular star clusters, tight-knit collections containing hundreds of thousands of stars.
The astronomers, including Dr Tom Maccarone from the University of Southampton, used the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico, USA to study a globular cluster called Messier 22 (M22), a group of stars more than 10,000 light-years from Earth. They hoped to find evidence of a rare type of black hole in the cluster’s centre called an intermediate-mass black hole, which is more massive than those larger than the Sun’s mass, but smaller than the supermassive black holes found at the cores of galaxies.
However, they found something very surprising — two smaller black holes, which is unusual because most theorists say there should be at most one black hole in the cluster. continue reading
Although our understanding changes faster than we can update articles, further reading: How Black Holes Work.