The first black hole ever detected is more massive than we thought. Cygnus X-1 may be a stellar-mass black hole- one among the closest black hole to Earth. Discovered in 1964, the thing gathered the eye of a famous scientific wager between physicists Hawking and Kip Thorne.
In 1974, Hawking argued that Cygnus X-1 wasn’t a black hole.
In a new study, a world team of astronomers used the Very Long Baseline Array and radio astrometry to live distances to the region X-ray binary Cygnus X-1.
Their study has shown that Cygnus X-1 contains the foremost massive stellar-mass region ever detected without gravitational waves. it’s more massive than previously thought.
Lead researcher, Professor James Miller-Jones from Curtin University and therefore the International Centre for astronomy Research (ICRAR), said, “Over six days we observed a full orbit of the region and used observations taken of an equivalent system with an equivalent telescope array in 2011. This method and our new measurements show the system is further away than previously thought, with a region that’s significantly more massive.”
Co-author Professor Ilya Mandel from Monash University and thus the ARC Centre of Excellence in Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav) said the region is so massive it’s challenging how astronomers thought they formed.
Cygnus X-1 system from different angles.
Origin of Black Hole Cygnus X-1
“Stars lose mass to their surrounding environment through stellar winds that blow away from their surface. But to form a region this heavy, we’d like to dial down the quantity of mass that bright stars lose during their lifetimes.”
“The region within the Cygnus X-1 system began life as a star approximately 60 times the mass of the Sun and collapsed tens of thousands of years ago. Incredibly, it’s orbiting its companion star—a supergiant—every five and a half days at just one-fifth of the space between the planet and thus the Sun.”
“These new observations tell us the region is quite 20 times the mass of our Sun—a 50 percent increase on previous estimates.”
Xueshan Zhao, a co-author on the paper and a Ph.D. candidate studying at the National Astronomical Observatories, said, “Using the updated measurements for the black hole’s mass and its distance faraway from Earth, I used to be ready to confirm that Cygnus X-1 is spinning incredibly quickly—very on the brink of the speed of sunshine and faster than the other region found so far .”
“I’m at the start of my research career, so being a neighborhood of a world team and helping to refine the properties of the primary region ever discovered has been an excellent opportunity.”
- James C. A. Miller-Jones et al. Cygnus X-1 contains a 21–solar mass black hole—Implications for huge star winds. DOI: 10.1126/science.abb3363
- Xueshan Zhao et al. Re-estimating the Spin Parameter of the region in Cygnus X-1. DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/abbcd6
- Coenraad J. Neijssel et al. Wind Mass-loss Rates of Stripped Stars Inferred from Cygnus X-1. DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/abde4a