Dormant Black Hole Found Outside the Milky Way for the First Time

The black hole binary system VFTS243 is nine times the mass of the sun and the first dormant black hole to be discovered outside the Milky Way. Its origins, however, are peculiar. Typically black holes form when stars reach the end of their lifespan and collapse, causing an explosion, but the researchers of the study believe the star that caused VFTS243 vanished without any sign of an explosion. According to Tomer Shenar from the Institute of Physics and Astronomy, this “direct-collapse scenario” has “enormous implications for the origin of black hole mergers in the cosmos.” Learn more about this mysterious and exciting development at The Guardian.

Image courtesy of European Southern Observatory/Reuters