Astronomers Witness Star’s Death, Birth of New Black Hole

June 1, 2017

Astronomers Witness Star’s Death, Birth of New Black Hole

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For the first time, astronomers have seen a dying star collapse directly into a black hole. The fizzle of this star — about 25 times more massive than our Sun — could explain why astronomers rarely see massive stars explode. Christopher Kochanek, professor, astronomy and Ohio Eminent Scholar, led the team, including Ohio State Astronomy Professor Krzysztof Stanek, monitoring nearby galaxies with the Large Binocular Telescope to look for such "massive failures." Former Ohio State graduate student Scott Adams, now a Caltech postdoc, performed this study as part of his dissertation research. The discovery was detailed in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, and received extensive media coverage: UPI, International Business Times, Astronomy.com, Newsweek, Yahoo News and the Columbus Dispatch.