Scientists may have detected a free-floating black hole

Astronomers may have discovered the first free-floating black hole in the Milky Way galaxy.

The death of large stars leaves behind black holes but the problem is, isolated black holes are invisible.

Astronomers have for the first time discovered what may be a free-floating black hole by observing the brightening of a more distant star as its light was distorted by the object’s strong gravitational field

This could be one of perhaps 200 million black holes in the Milky Way galaxy

The compact object — estimated by UC Berkeley astronomers to be between 1.6 and 4.4 times the mass of our sun — could be a free-floating black hole

Because astronomers think that the leftover remnant of a dead star must be heavier than 2.2 solar masses to collapse into a black hole

The researchers caution that the object could be a neutron star instead of a black hole

Determining how many of these compact objects populate the Milky Way galaxy will help astronomers understand the evolution of stars — in particular, how they die — and of our galaxy


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