"We thought that very massive stars with the chemical composition typical of our galaxy must shed most of their gas in powerful stellar winds, as they approach the end of their life.
Therefore, they should not leave behind such a massive remnant. LB-1 is twice as massive as what we thought possib
le. Now theorists will have to take up the challenge of explaining its formation." Until a few years ago, stellar
black holes could only be discovered when they gobbled up gas from a companion star. This process creates powerful
X-ray emissions, detectable from Earth, which reveal the presence of the collapsed object. The vast majority of s
tellar black holes in our galaxy are not engaged in a cosmic banquet though, and thus don't emit revealing X-rays.
As a result, only about 20 galactic stellar black holes have been accurately identified and measured. To counter
this limitation, Liu and his team surveyed the sky with China's Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST), looking for stars that orbit an invisible object, pulled by its gravity. This observational technique was first proposed by the visionary English scientist John Michell in 1783, but it has only become feasible wihe discovery w
th recent technological improvements in telescopes and detectors. This photo shows the artistic rendering of the black hole LB-1. A Chinese-led research team has discovered a surprisingly huge stellar black hole about 14,000 light-years from Earth -- our "backyard" of the universe -- forcing scientists to re-examine how such black holes formprise. "Black hole
. The team, headed by Liu Jifeng, of the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), spotted the black hole, which has a mass 70 times greater than the Sun. Researchers named the monster black hole LB-1. (Xinhua) Still, such a search is like looking for a needle in a haystack: only one star in a thousand mightss should not
be circling a black hole. After