Black Holes in Globular Star Clusters probably disapproved 4 decades old theory

Radio image (left) and x-ray image (right) showing black hole in yellow circle in the M62 star cluster in our Galaxy and neutron star in red circle (Image credit: Texas Tech University)

Main Point:

Scientists have found black holes in globular star clusters for the first time with the help of an array of radio telescopes.

Published in:

The Astrophysical Journal

Study Further:

Scientist detected the black holes by detecting certain radio frequency released by the black holes.

“As the black hole eats a star, these jets of material are coming out,” Tom Maccarone, an associate professor of physics, said. “Most of the material falls into the black hole, but some is thrown outwards in a jet. To see that jet of material, we look for a radio emission. We found a few radio emissions coming from this globular star cluster that we couldn’t explain any other way.”

This finding of black holes in the globular star cluster has disturbed the 4 decade older theory against such possibility.

Globular star clusters have huge amount of stars including some of the oldest stars.

“The stars can collide with one another in that environment,” he said. “The old theory believed that the interaction of stars was thought to kick out any black holes that formed. They would interact with each other and slingshot black holes out of the cluster until they were all gone.”

According to Maccarone, this finding has denied the theory but probably not to its full extent. The black holes might be removed from the cluster but not with the rate as was previously believed.

It is possible that the black holes in the globular clusters may merge to form bigger black holes, according to Maccarone.

“These mergers may produce the ‘ripples in spacetime’ we call gravitational waves,” he said. “Trying to detect gravitational waves is one of the biggest problems in physics right now, because it would be the strongest test of whether Einstein’s theory of relativity is correct.”


Physicists Find Black Holes in Globular Star Clusters, Upsetting 40 Years of Theory – Texas Tech Today -(

Laura Chomiuk, Jay Strader, Thomas J. Maccarone, James C. A. Miller-Jones, Craig Heinke, Eva Noyola, Anil C. Seth, & Scott Ransom (2013). A Radio-Selected Black Hole X-ray Binary Candidate in the Milky Way Globular Cluster M62 arXiv arXiv: 1306.6624v2

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is a sort of entrepreneur. He is the author of "Color Atlas of Statistics", and the owner of an Android game "Faily Rocket."