A new study has found that researchers may have missed a whole category of black holes which they did not know actually existed during their search.
Lead author of the study Todd Thompson along with other researchers began analysing APOGEE (Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment) data, which gathered light spectra radiated from about 100,000 stars in the Milk Way. They looked for the stars which showed a change in their spectra, hinting that they may be orbiting around one black hole. Next, the researchers narrowed down the data from APOGEE to 200 stars which were believed to be most fascinating. The findings showed a huge red color star orbiting around something, which was tinier than the black holes known in the Universe, but way larger than most of the neutron stars known.
After further calculations and with the help of a few additional data, they realized that they discovered one low-mass black hole, around 3.3 times larger than the sun.
In the study, astronomers have offered an all new way for searching black holes, and reveal that there’s a possibility for a new category of black holes tinier than the tiniest black holes known in the Universe.
As per Thompson, through the study, they are revealing a hint that there’s a new population in the Universe which they are yet to investigate in the hunt for black holes.