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Black hole inside our sun?  A study on Hawking's theory with surprising results

Black hole inside our sun? A study on Hawking's theory with surprising results

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The sun was captured by NASA's SOHO solar telescope. © IMAGO/piemags/NASA

A research team is conducting a thought experiment on “Hawking stars”: What if a star like our sun was swallowed by a black hole?

Garching – Sometimes the strangest thought experiments are done in research. One of them comes from the long-deceased physicist Stephen Hawking. In the 1970s, he thought about stars with a black hole at their center, so-called “Hawking stars.” So far, no such stars have been discovered, but the theory still inspires researchers to do new work.

A research team led by the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA) in Garching has modeled the evolution of “Hawking stars” and obtained some interesting results. It was work In the specialized magazine Astrophysical Journal published. According to Hawking's theory, there is a primordial black hole in a star named after him, a small black hole that formed shortly after the Big Bang. Such a star could be captured during the formation of a new star.

Hawking's star contains a primordial black hole at its center

“Scientists sometimes ask crazy questions to deepen their knowledge,” says Selma de Mink, director of MPA's Stellar Research Division. “We don't even know whether these primordial black holes exist, but we can still do an interesting thought experiment.”

If a newly formed star were to capture a black hole with the mass of an asteroid or a small moon, it would become a Hawking star. The black hole will grow only slowly because only a small amount of gas falls on the black hole due to the star escaping its luminosity, according to Hawking's theory. The MPA team has now modeled the evolution of such a star, with different initial black hole masses.

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The astonishing result: If the mass of the black hole were small, its existence would not be observed at all, and the star would be indistinguishable from a regular star.

The Sun could be a “Hawking star” – and you wouldn't know it

“Stars with a black hole at their center can live surprisingly long lives,” says study leader Earl Patrick Bellinger. “Our sun could have a Mercury-sized black hole at its center without us even noticing.”

The biggest difference between a regular star and a Hawking star is near the core: it becomes convective when the black hole attracts matter. However, on the surface you wouldn't notice it. One says that only the relatively new field of astroseismology can prove this notice Of mental pain and anguish. Only at a later stage in a star's evolution, when it becomes a red giant, can a black hole give rise to distinct signatures.

However, according to the research team, more simulations are needed to see the effects of the central black hole on different types of stars.

Neither Hawking stars nor primordial black holes have been discovered yet

So far, neither Hawking stars nor primordial black holes have been discovered. But the research team believes that searching for “Hawking stars” could lead to the discovery of small black holes. “Although the Sun is used only as an example, there are good reasons to believe that 'Hawking stars' are common in globular clusters and very faint dwarf galaxies,” says study co-author Matt Kaplan. “This means that Hawking stars could be a tool for testing the existence of primordial black holes and their possible role in dark matter.”

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A research team recently discovered the oldest black hole known to date, but it's not small at all. Meanwhile, a well-known mathematician wants to show that Stephen Hawking was wrong about the “inner workings” of black holes.(unpaid bill)