With the new technique, two NASA scientists were able to detect the smallest ever found black holes in the universe. Mass "baby" only 3.8 times the mass of our sun, and its diameter is 24 kilometers. This size is approximately equal to the minimum allowed size, the prospective scientists, for black holes born from dying stars.
The smallest black hole found two scientists, Lev Titarchuk and Nikolai Shaposhnikov, working in the laboratory at NASA’s Greenbelt (Maryland). Their results are presented at the conference on March 31 High Energy Astrophysics Division (High Energy Astrophysics Division) of the American Astronomical Society (American Astronomical Society) in Los Angeles.
Discovered black hole is in a binary system, the Milky Way galaxy, known as XTE J1650-500. Satellite NASA RXTE (Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer) discovered this system in 2001. Astronomers soon found out that the system contains a normal star and a black hole of relatively small size. But the exact mass of the black hole and find out so they could not.
Shaposhnikov and Titarchuk used a technique called "Quasi-periodic oscillations", which consists in finding the relationship between the black hole and the central part of the surrounding disk of hot gas. It was observed that the intensity of X-ray radiation from a black hole varies in sequence through nearly equal intervals.
When the researchers applied this method to the system XTE J1650-500, they were able to find out that the black hole mass is 3.8 solar masses, with an error of about half of the mass of the Sun. This figure was even smaller than that of the previous record-hole GRO 1655-40, the mass of which is about 6.3 solar masses.
Shaposhnikov added that the satellite RXTE - the only tool that can most accurately determine the temporal variation necessary for this type of research. Popular news articles of science and technology only on our website.