'Impossibly big' black hole not as big as previously calculated

  • Monday 16, December 2019 06:16 PM
Sharjah 24 – Reuters: Two new studies have called into question the size of the "impossibly big" black hole named LB-1, according to papers published independently to the arXiv database.
A team led by Chinese astronomer Liu Jinfeng claimed that LB-1 is 70 times the mass of the sun, bigger than the 20-solar-mass models predicted for black holes in our galaxy.'

The papers found the same basic problem with the Chinese researchers claim: it relied on evidence that the unseen black hole was wiggling very slightly as its heavy companion star wheeled around it.

The new studies claim that the initial team misinterpreted what they were seeing in the light from the distant system.

Movements from LB-1 create spectral light via doppler effect called H alpha line emissions.

The Chinese team used China's powerful LAMOST telescope to detect H alpha line emissions, then used the black hole's movements to infer its mass.

The authors of the new studies argue that the original team did not properly adjust for the emissions from LB1's star, which also emits H alpha, according to Live Science.

Astrophysicists El-Badry and Quataert write in their paper that after factoring in the star, the data suggests LB1 is far more likely to be a sun-sized black hole.