On the signature of a 70-solar-mass black hole in LB-1

Abdul-Masih, M.Banyard, G.Bodensteiner, J.Bordier, E.Bowman, D. M.Dsilva, K.Fabry, M.Hawcroft, C.;... ;Van Winckel, H.Vermeylen, L.Sana, H.
April, 2020


Abstract :

Liu et al. (2019) recently reported the detection of a 68 [+11/-13] solar mass (Msun) black hole (BH) paired with an 8.2 [+0.9/-1.2] Msun B-type sub-giant star in the 78.9-day spectroscopic binary system LB-1. Such a black hole is over twice as massive as any other known stellar-mass black hole with non-compact companions2 and its mass approaches those that result from BH-BH coalescences that are detected by gravitational wave interferometers. Its presence in a solar-like metallicity environment challenges conventional theories of massive binary evolution, stellar winds and core-collapse supernovae, so that more exotic scenarios seem to be needed to explain the existence and properties of LB-1. Here, we show that the observational diagnostics used to derive the BH mass results from the orbital motion of the B-type star, not that of the BH. As a consequence, no evidence for a massive BH remains in the data, therefore solving the existing tension with formation models of such a massive BH at solar metallicity and with theories of massive star evolution in general.


Publication : Nature, Volume 580, Issue 7805, p.E11-E15
Keywords : Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
Comments : LB-1 is LS V +22 25 in SIMBAD.