Although highly unlikely, recent studies suggest that some primordial black holes, formed immediately after the Big Bang, may have been captured within stars. These ancient black holes, formed as hot, dense clumps of matter collapsed in the early seconds of […]
Although highly unlikely, recent studies suggest that some primordial black holes, formed immediately after the Big Bang, may have been captured within stars. These ancient black holes, formed as hot, dense clumps of matter collapsed in the early seconds of the universe’s creation, could provide new insights into the early history of the universe and the formation of black holes. However, locating these stars that have managed to capture one of these elusive black holes presents a challenge.
Astrophysicist Earl Belinger, the lead author of the study from the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, emphasizes that black holes of this type were likely moving at tremendous speeds. When they encounter a star, they most likely pass through it like a bullet. However, a smaller number of these slower-moving black holes may have been captured by stars. If true, there is a chance that we might find them.
There are two possibilities when it comes to these theoretical black holes trapped in stars. The first possibility is that the black holes are so small that they have no impact on the star. Very low-mass black holes cannot even double their mass during the lifetime of the universe, even if they reside in a place where they can feed freely, such as the interior of a star.
The second possibility is that the black holes are massive enough to effectively grow by consuming the star. These black holes can undergo a process known as “black hole cannibalism” and devour the star from the inside out. This would cause disruption in the star’s core and the emission of additional energy. Astronomers have so far discovered about 500 of these cold red giants that could be candidates for Hawking stars.
The presence of black holes in these stars could explain the difficulties in determining the evolution of these stars. Based on their pulsations and vibrations, astronomers could conclude whether a black hole is feeding on the star.
Although finding a black hole is extremely challenging, especially when it comes to those larger than the Sun, the situation becomes even more complicated when we talk about black holes the size of hydrogen atoms, like these primordial black holes. Nevertheless, scientists believe that most primordial black holes are located outside the stars around us, wandering through galaxies. There is a probability that at least one of them is within our solar system at any given moment.
1. What are primordial black holes?
Primordial black holes are black holes that formed immediately after the Big Bang. They were formed as hot, dense clumps of matter collapsed in the early seconds of the universe’s creation.
2. How are primordial black holes captured in stars?
According to recent studies, there is a possibility that a small number of primordial black holes have been captured within stars. These slower-moving black holes can be trapped in stars.
3. What impact do primordial black holes have on the stars they are trapped in?
The impact of primordial black holes on stars can vary. Some black holes are so small that they have no effect on the star, while others are massive enough to effectively grow by consuming the star. These black holes can undergo a process called “black hole cannibalism” and devour the star from the inside out.
4. What are Hawking stars?
Hawking stars are stars powered by small black holes in their cores. These stars are named after the legendary physicist Stephen Hawking, who suggested the existence of black holes in star cores.
5. How do black holes form in the universe?
Black holes form when a massive star collapses under its own gravity after exploding in a supernova. The gravitational force is so strong that it creates an environment where even light cannot escape.