The concept about their existence had been the lifelong work of popular scientists like Steve Hawkings and even Albert Einstein who made the prediction about their existence way back since 1916.
These elusive beasts are always avoiding detection as they swallow up light which makes it super hard for astronomers to detect them. Thanks to a giant telescope, the size of earth itself as well as researches and studies of different forms of radiation such as X-Rays which have all proven their existence.
According to a report carried out by The Ohio State University, there are suggestions that there may be a whole population of black holes even missing.
They published their findings in the Journal Science on the 1st of November thereby detailing the discovery of a particular black hole which is said to be orbiting the giant star 2MASS J05215658+4359220 (J05215658, for short) by using data from Earth-based telescopes and Gaia satellite observations.
The team shows J05215658 is being orbited by a massive unseen companion — and they suspect it might be an entirely new class of black holes.
“We’re showing this hint that there is another population out there that we have yet to really probe in the search for black holes,” said Todd Thompson, astronomer at The Ohio State University and lead author on the study, in a statement.
Usually, a binary system like this whereby a black hole orbits a star is easily detected because of the black hole’s enormous gravity pull materials from the star in, lighting up the black hole with radiation. Astronomers can detect that from Earth. But if the black hole is too small, it might not be interacting with the star in this way and remains invisible. That’s the case with J05215658.
According to the discovery team which suggests that the Black Hole could be about 3.3 times more massive than the sun making it the lowest mass black hole yet discovered.
Even though, there is still every possibility that the black hole could be up to six times as massive as the sun because there is a little bit of uncertainty room built into the calculations.
Another possibility is the mysterious object might be a very large neutron star. When stars die, they have two options for the cosmic afterlife based on their mass: Big stars collapse into a black hole and little stars become a dead, neutron star. Neutron stars are small and incredibly dense and are believed to reach around 2.5 times as massive as the sun before collapsing into a black hole themselves.
To solve the mystery, astronomers will need to discover similar-sized objects lurking in the cosmos and identify what exactly they are. As astronomers get better at cosmic hide-and-seek, finding more black holes of differing sizes, the mysteries of black hole formation and evolution will begin to be unraveled.