New Delhi | Jagran Trending Desk: A team of scientists led by Dr. Karan Jani, an astrophysicist from Vadodara who is settled in the United States, has discovered an intermediate black hole, weighing about 142 times the mass of the sun, that challenges our current understanding of the universe.

The intermediate black hole was formed after two black holes weighing about 66 and 85 solar mass merged about seven billion years ago. The ripple produced in space due to the collision travelled across the cosmos at the speed of light and were captured by detectors LIGO and Virgo on May 21, 2019. Jani and his team announced the discovery on Wednesday evening (IST).

“This discovery will not just change the way we study the universe but also understand its complexities further,” Jani told The Times of India. “In astronomy, it has always been believed that black holes are formed due to gravitational collapse of the stars. But the black hole we discovered was not formed due to any star’s collapse or blast.”

A black hole is a region of spacetime where gravity is so strong that nothing—no particles or even electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from it. Several collisions of black hole have been recorded in gravitational waves by LIGO and Virgo over the past five years. However, the collisions observed in the past involved black holes of smaller sizes and the resultant black hole didn't grow beyond the size of typical stellar black holes. Given the sizes of the black holes involved, the latest detection may offer a clue to how supermassive blackholes at the centre of galaxies are formed.

“We always though that black holes are either less than hundred times the mass of the sun or thousands of times bigger than that. This is the first black hole of the intermediate size and it is 142 times bigger than the mass of the sun. In fact, it is older than the sun,” Jani said.

Posted By: Lakshay Raja