Last week scientists at NASA may have found the largest black hole on record, now this week they may have found the smallest, and it has a heartbeat!
The object would probably be close to three times the mass of our Sun, which is close to the lightest a Black Hole could be and still remain stable.
NASA scientists, utilizing the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), which detects X-rays coming from cosmic sources, a team of astronomers identified a “heartbeat”, that indicates that a black hole is present with an ordinary star. The “heartbeat” pattern is pulse detected as matter is consumed from the neighboring star. “Just as the heart rate of a mouse is faster than an elephant’s, the heartbeat signals from these black holes scales according to their masses,” said Diego Altamirano, an astrophysicist at the University of Amsterdam, who worked on the NASA project.
The black hole is in a system which is is located in the direction of the constellation Scorpius, unfortunately its distance cannot be determined. It could be anywhere between 16,000 light-years and 65,000 light-years away.