It was thought to be a black hole, but it turned out to be a "star vampire" and the image of its victim

It was thought to be a black hole, but it turned out to be a “star vampire” and the image of its victim

The HR 6819 telescope constellation system took center stage in the news in 2020 when astronomers announced the presence of a black hole in it. The orb, only a thousand light-years from Earth, was the closest black hole identified to date.

The research team that made the discovery wrote at the time that the presence of the black hole was necessary to understand the movement of the two stars in the system, indicating that the black hole and one star orbit the other in a wider orbit.

Scientists have now written that they are wrong, a black hole does not exist.

Only one spot of light has been detected in the past that contains signs of two stars, said Dietrich Bad, an astronomer at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and co-author of the study.

Since both stars are similar in brightness and age, their masses will be the same and orbit each other at high speed.

“Because we only saw the star that a huge orb orbiting around us at high speed, we assumed that this invisible giant was a third body, a black hole,” Bady said.

Other researchers have seen that there are only two stars in the system, one of which was recently torn apart by the other, which is sometimes called the Vampire Star. And the Guardian wrote online that the vampire’s weight has increased significantly since then, according to a recent issue of the Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

In the new study, Baade and colleagues analyzed new data from two ESO telescopes, the VLT and the VLTI.

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Although the results rejected the idea of ​​a black hole, the researchers are confident.

“A hijacked star is more exciting than a black hole because it was discovered at a point that made up a very small part of the system’s total lifetime,” Bady said.

A naked star can show the interior of a celestial body because the vampire star’s “sting” removed the opaque curtain from its thick outer layers, so we can take a closer look at how the star creates the energy it radiates and where it makes new elements, he added.

According to the scientist, when these elements are ejected, star dust can create not only new stars, but also planets and planetary inhabitants.

Opening image: Illustration (ESO/L. Calçada)

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