Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Formation of Stellar Mass Black Holes: Making energetic destroyers

The formation of a stellar mass black hole is a very chaotic and energetic event. Really though, there isn"t much that involves black holes that isn"t chaotic or energetic. Stellar mass black holes have a minimum mass of around 3.2 times that of our sun (3.2 solar masses). I say "around" because, due to our lack of understanding of neutron degeneracy thresholds, we don"t quite know where the boundary is between neutron stars and black holes. At the moment, 3.2 solar masses is a good guesstimate, as it fits snugly in between the most massive neutron star and smallest black hole ever discovered.

There are three processes that can form a stellar mass black hole; each one is amazing in its own right. Today, we are going to look at comic collisions and epic mergers, and how these processes contribute to the birth of the most destructive objects in the known universe.

Let’s take a look:


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