Light curve for VFTS 243 Virtual Observatory Resource

  1. Shenar T.
  2. Sana H.
  3. Mahy L.
  4. El-Badry K.
  5. Marchant P.
  6. Langer N.,Hawcroft C.
  7. Fabry M.
  8. Sen K.
  9. Almeida L.A.
  10. Abdul-Masih M.,Bodensteiner J.
  11. Crowther P.A.
  12. Gieles M.
  13. Gromadzki M.
  14. Henault-Brunet V.,Herrero A.
  15. de Koter A.
  16. Iwanek P.
  17. Kozlowski S.
  18. Lennon D.J.,Maiz Apellaniz J.
  19. Mroz P.
  20. Moffat A.F.J.
  21. Picco A.
  22. Pietrukowicz P.,Poleski R.
  23. Rybicki K.
  24. Schneider F.R.N.
  25. Skowron D.M.
  26. Skowron J.,Soszynski I.
  27. Szymanski M.K.
  28. Toonen S.
  29. Udalski A.
  30. Ulaczyk K.
  31. Vink J.S.,Wrona M.
  32. Published by

Stellar-mass black holes are the final remnants of stars born with more than 15 solar masses. Billions are expected to reside in the Local Group, yet only a few are known, mostly detected through X-rays emitted as they accrete material from a companion star. Here, we report on VFTS 243: a massive X-ray-faint binary in the Large Magellanic Cloud. With an orbital period of 10.4d, it comprises an O-type star of 25 solar masses and an unseen companion of at least nine solar masses. Our spectral analysis excludes a non-degenerate companion at a 5{sigma} confidence level. The minimum companion mass implies that it is a black hole. No other X-ray-quiet black hole is unambiguously known outside our Galaxy. The (near-)circular orbit and kinematics of VFTS 243 imply that the collapse of the progenitor into a black hole was associated with little or no ejected material or black-hole kick. Identifying such unique binaries substantially impacts the predicted rates of gravitational-wave detections and properties of core-collapse supernovae across the cosmos.

  1. Magellanic Clouds
  2. Variable stars
  3. Photometry
  4. Optical astronomy
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