Astronomy News

Black holes in star clusters upset 40-year-old theory

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black hole 23k light years from Earth/ Texas Tech

From ScienceDaily,

A Texas Tech University astrophysicist was part of a team of researchers that discovered the first examples of black holes in globular star clusters in our own galaxy, upsetting 40 years of theories against their possible existence.

Globular star clusters are large groupings of stars thought to contain some of the oldest stars in the universe. In the same distance from our sun to the nearest neighbor, Proxima Centauri, its nearest neighbor, these globular star clusters could have a million to tens of millions of stars, Maccarone said.

“The stars can collide with one another in that environment,” Maccarone said. “The old theory believed that the interaction of stars was thought to kick out any black holes that formed. They would interact with each other and slingshot black holes out of the cluster until they were all gone.”

Apparently, they do get kicked out, but much more slowly, so some can still be found.

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