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The First Black Hole Ever Discovered Is More Massive Than We Thought

In general, scientists thought stellar winds in the Milky Way were strong enough to limit the mass of black holes to no more than 15 solar masses, regardless of how big the stars were originally. The new findings clearly upend those estimates. “Finding a black hole that was significantly more massive than this limit tells us that we have to revise our models of how much mass the largest stars lose in stellar winds over their lifetimes,” says James Miller-Jones. It may mean the stellar winds that move through the Milky Way are less powerful than we thought, or that stars hemorrhage mass in other ways. Or it could mean black holes behave in more erratic ways than we’re able to anticipate.

 

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