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The mystery of the black hole roaming our galaxy deepens

The mystery of the black hole roaming our galaxy deepens

Earlier this year, a so-called “rogue black hole” was discovered, a galactic black hole, in this case our Milky Way. Now, another group of scientists has confirmed, through a separate and independent analysis, the existence of this object.

However, astronomers Casey Lamm and Jessica Lu of the University of California came to a completely different conclusion: according to them, the object is not a black hole but a neutron star.

NASA, European Space Agency, STScI, Joseph Olmsted

“This is the first floating neutron star or black hole to be detected using a gravitational microlensing,” Lu says.

“By using the finer lens, we can examine and weigh these single, compressed objects. I think we’ve opened a new window on these dark objects, which cannot be seen any other way.”

A microgravitational lensing measures how the gravitational fields of these “dark” objects distort and distort the light of distant stars as they pass.

Low and Lam’s analysis now adds more data from Hubble, which was obtained as recently as 2021. Their team found the object to be slightly smaller, between 1.6 and 4.4 times the mass of the Sun.

“Whatever this object may be, it is the first dark stellar remnant discovered to wander the galaxy unaccompanied by another star,” Casey Lamm explained.

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