How are black holes born? Astrophysicists have theories, but we do not know exactly. It could be massive stars that softly implode with a floompf or maybe black holes are born in the explosions of colossal supernovas. New observations now indicate that this could indeed be the latter.
In fact, research suggests that these explosions are so powerful that they can hurl the black holes through the galaxy at more than 70 kilometers per second (43 miles per second).
"The astronomer Pikky Atri of Curtin University and the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) have discovered that black holes actually move at high speed in the galaxy. ScienceAlert.
And it means that potentially millions of blacks Zooming holes around the galaxy at high speed The paper, which is currently available as a pre-print, was included in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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As soon as we get this black we can see how the black hole behaves. The international research team used this behavior to reconstruct the history of the black hole.
"We tracked how these systems moved in our galaxy – so we figured out their present velocities, got back in time, and tried to understand what The speed was individual from the system when it was born for each of these 16 systems, "explained Atri.
"Using the velocities, you can actually find out if they were born with a supernova explosion, or if the stars collapsed directly upon themselves without a supernova explosion."
We know that neutron stars are shaped by their own supernova stars. Explosions can be thrown violently through space at high speed The supernova explosion goes awry and leads to a recoil.
It was not known if black holes could be kicked in the same way. Hypothetically, they could – and indeed, seven X-ray binaries for black holes were previously associated with birth attempts.
The new research has further analyzed these and nine others, combining measured proper motions, systemic radial velocities, and distances to these systems for the most detailed analysis yet.
The movement of one of these movements The black holes calculated by the team can be seen in the following video.
The researchers found that 12 of these 16 Black Hole X-ray binary systems actually had high velocities and trajectories, indicating a natal kick. That's 75 percent of the sample. If this amounts to the estimated 10 million black holes in the Milky Way, this can mean that around 7.5 million black holes are settling there at high speed. And 10 million is a low estimate.
Consistent with earlier theories, these fast black holes are slower than kicked neutron stars by a factor of about three or four because of their higher mass. Interestingly, there seemed to be no correlation between black hole mass and velocity, which means that we do not yet know if there is a correlation between the mass of the precursor star and the probability of a supernova.
This is a relatively small sample of black holes of course. However, according to Atri, this is a step towards building a larger sample that will help us better understand how stars are developing and dying and how many black holes are created.
"All this will ultimately affect the number of black holes We expect in our galaxy how many black holes actually connect to detect the gravitational waves that LIGO finds," she added.
To further expand research, the team will continue to watch the skies. These binary systems are not always bright – they come and go temporarily. The researchers therefore hope to find more of these binary systems to continue to make a count of the black holes in the Milky Way, whether or not they accelerate.
And if you're worried now, you'll come across a black hole that plunges directly into our sunlight system, you do not really need to panic.
"The next black hole, we believe, is two kiloparsecs away [6,523 light-years]," said Atri.
"It's very, very far away, so there's no chance we'll be sucked in by any black hole anytime soon."
The paper was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and is available on arXiv.