Discovery of a dormant 33 solar-mass black hole in pre-release Gaia astrometry

P. Panuzzo*, T. Mazeh, F. Arenou, B. Holl, E. Caffau, A. Jorissen, C. Babusiaux, P. Gavras, J. Sahlmann, U. Bastian, L. Wyrzykowski, L. Eyer, N. Leclerc, N. Bauchet, A. Bombrun, N. Mowlavi, G. M. Seabroke, D. Teyssier, E. Balbinot, A. HelmiA. G.A. Brown, A. Vallenari, T. Prusti, J. H.J. De Bruijne, A. Barbier, M. Biermann, O. L. Creevey, C. Ducourant, D. W. Evans, R. Guerra, A. Hutton, C. Jordi, S. A. Klioner, U. Lammers, L. Lindegren, X. Luri, F. Mignard, C. Nicolas, S. Randich, P. Sartoretti, R. Smiljanic, P. Tanga, N. A. Walton, C. Aerts, C. A.L. Bailer-Jones, M. Cropper, R. Drimmel, F. Jansen, D. Katz, M. G. Lattanzi, C. Soubiran, F. Thévenin, F. Van Leeuwen, R. Andrae, M. Audard, J. Bakker, R. Blomme, J. Castañeda, F. De Angeli, C. Fabricius, M. Fouesneau, Y. Frémat, L. Galluccio, A. Guerrier, U. Heiter, E. Masana, R. Messineo, K. Nienartowicz, F. Pailler, F. Riclet, W. Roux, R. Sordo, G. Gracia-Abril, J. Portell, M. Altmann, K. Benson, J. Berthier, P. W. Burgess, D. Busonero, G. Busso, C. Cacciari, H. Cánovas, J. M. Carrasco, B. Carry, A. Cellino, N. Cheek, G. Clementini, Y. Damerdji, M. Davidson, P. De Teodoro, L. Delchambre, A. Della Oro, E. Fraile Garcia, D. Garabato, P. García-Lario, R. Haigron, N. C. Hambly, D. L. Harrison, D. Hatzidimitriou, J. Hernández, D. Hestroffer, S. T. Hodgkin, S. Jamal, G. Jevardat De Fombelle, S. Jordan, A. Krone-Martins, A. C. Lanzafame, W. Löffler, A. Lorca, O. Marchal, P. M. Marrese, A. Moitinho, K. Muinonen, M. Nuñez Campos, I. Oreshina-Slezak, P. Osborne, E. Pancino, T. Pauwels, A. Recio-Blanco, M. Riello, L. Rimoldini, A. C. Robin, T. Roegiers, L. M. Sarro, M. Schultheis, M. Smith, A. Sozzetti, E. Utrilla, M. Van Leeuwen, K. Weingrill, U. Abbas, P. Ábrahám, A. Abreu Aramburu, S. Ahmed, G. Altavilla, M. A. Álvarez, F. Anders, R. I. Anderson, E. Anglada Varela, T. Antoja, S. Baig, D. Baines, S. G. Baker, L. Balaguer-Núñez, Z. Balog, C. Barache, M. Barros, M. A. Barstow, S. Bartolomé, D. Bashi, J. L. Bassilana, N. Baudeau, U. Becciani, L. R. Bedin, I. Bellas-Velidis, M. Bellazzini, W. Beordo, M. Bernet, C. Bertolotto, S. Bertone, L. Bianchi, A. Binnenfeld, S. Blanco-Cuaresma, J. Bland-Hawthorn, A. Blazere, T. Boch, D. Bossini, S. Bouquillon, A. Bragaglia, J. Braine, E. Bratsolis, E. Breedt, A. Bressan, N. Brouillet, E. Brugaletta, B. Bucciarelli, A. G. Butkevich, R. Buzzi, A. Camut, R. Cancelliere, T. Cantat-Gaudin, D. Capilla Guilarte, R. Carballo, T. Carlucci, M. I. Carnerero, J. Carretero, S. Carton, L. Casamiquela, A. Casey, M. Castellani, A. Castro-Ginard, L. Ceraj, V. Cesare, P. Charlot, C. Chaudet, L. Chemin, A. Chiavassa, N. Chornay, D. Chosson, W. J. Cooper, T. Cornez, S. Cowell, M. Crosta, C. Crowley, M. Cruz Reyes, C. Dafonte, M. Dal Ponte, M. David, P. De Laverny, F. De Luise, R. De March, A. De Torres, E. F. Del Peloso, M. Delbo, A. Delgado, J. B. Delisle, C. Demouchy, E. Denis, T. E. Dharmawardena, F. Di Giacomo, C. Diener, E. Distefano, C. Dolding, K. Dsilva, H. Enke, C. Fabre, M. Fabrizio, S. Faigler, M. Fatoviä, G. Fedorets, J. Fernández-Hernández, P. Fernique, F. Figueras, C. Fouron, F. Fragkoudi, M. Gai, M. Galinier, A. Garcia-Serrano, M. García-Torres, A. Garofalo, E. Gerlach, R. Geyer, P. Giacobbe, G. Gilmore, S. Girona, G. Giuffrida, A. Gomboc, A. Gomez, I. González-Santamaría, E. Gosset, M. Granvik, V. Gregori Barrera, R. Gutiérrez-Sánchez, M. Haywood, A. Helmer, S. L. Hidalgo, T. Hilger, D. Hobbs, C. Hottier, H. E. Huckle, Jiménez-Arranz, J. Juaristi Campillo, Z. Kaczmarek, P. Kervella, S. Khanna, M. Kontizas, G. Kordopatis, A. J. Korn, Kóspál, Z. Kostrzewa-Rutkowska, K. Kruszyåà  Ska, M. Kun, S. Lambert, A. F. Lanza, Y. Lebreton, T. Lebzelter, S. Leccia, G. Lecoutre, S. Liao, L. Liberato, E. Licata, E. Livanou, A. Lobel, J. López-Miralles, C. Loup, M. Madarász, L. Mahy, R. G. Mann, M. Manteiga, C. P. Marcellino, J. M. Marchant, M. Marconi, D. Marín Pina, S. Marinoni, D. J. Marshall, J. Martín Lozano, L. Martin Polo, J. M. Martín-Fleitas, G. Marton, D. Mascarenhas, A. Masip, A. Mastrobuono-Battisti, P. J. McMillan, J. Meichsner, J. Merc, S. Messina, N. R. Millar, A. Mints, D. Mohamed, D. Molina, R. Molinaro, L. Molnár, M. Monguió, P. Montegriffo, L. Monti, A. Mora, R. Morbidelli, D. Morris, R. Mudimadugula, T. Muraveva, I. Musella, Z. Nagy, N. Nardetto, C. Navarrete, S. Oh, C. Ordenovic, O. Orenstein, C. Pagani, I. Pagano, L. Palaversa, P. A. Palicio, L. Pallas-Quintela, M. Pawlak, A. Penttilä, P. Pesciullesi, M. Pinamonti, E. Plachy, L. Planquart, G. Plum, E. Poggio, D. Pourbaix, A. M. Price-Whelan, L. Pulone, V. Rabin, M. Rainer, C. M. Raiteri, P. Ramos, M. Ramos-Lerate, M. Ratajczak, P. Re Fiorentin, S. Regibo, C. Reylé, V. Ripepi, A. Riva, H. W. Rix, G. Rixon, G. Robert, N. Robichon, C. Robin, M. Romero-Gómez, N. Rowell, D. Ruz Mieres, K. A. Rybicki, G. Sadowski, A. Sagristà Sellés, N. Sanna, R. Santoveña, M. Sarasso, M. H. Sarmiento, C. Sarrate Riera, E. Sciacca, D. Ségransan, M. Semczuk, S. Shahaf, A. Siebert, E. Slezak, R. L. Smart, O. N. Snaith, E. Solano, F. Solitro, D. Souami, J. Souchay, E. Spitoni, F. Spoto, L. A. Squillante, I. A. Steele, H. Steidelmüller, J. Surdej, L. Szabados, F. Taris, M. B. Taylor, R. Teixeira, T. Tepper-Garcia, W. Thuillot, L. Tolomei, N. Tonello, F. Torra, G. Torralba Elipe, M. Trabucchi, E. Trentin, M. Tsantaki, C. Turon, A. Ulla, N. Unger, I. Valtchanov, O. Vanel, A. Vecchiato, D. Vicente, E. Villar, M. Weiler, H. Zhao, J. Zorec, S. Zucker, A. Župiä, T. Zwitter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Context. Gravitational waves from black-hole (BH) merging events have revealed a population of extra-galactic BHs residing in short-period binaries with masses that are higher than expected based on most stellar evolution models-And also higher than known stellar-origin black holes in our Galaxy. It has been proposed that those high-mass BHs are the remnants of massive metal-poor stars. Aims. Gaia astrometry is expected to uncover many Galactic wide-binary systems containing dormant BHs, which may not have been detected before. The study of this population will provide new information on the BH-mass distribution in binaries and shed light on their formation mechanisms and progenitors. Methods. As part of the validation efforts in preparation for the fourth Gaia data release (DR4), we analysed the preliminary astrometric binary solutions, obtained by the Gaia Non-Single Star pipeline, to verify their significance and to minimise false-detection rates in high-mass-function orbital solutions. Results. The astrometric binary solution of one source, Gaia BH3, implies the presence of a 32.70a ±a 0.82aM- BH in a binary system with a period of 11.6 yr. Gaia radial velocities independently validate the astrometric orbit. Broad-band photometric and spectroscopic data show that the visible component is an old, very metal-poor giant of the Galactic halo, at a distance of 590 pc. Conclusions. The BH in the Gaia BH3 system is more massive than any other Galactic stellar-origin BH known thus far. The low metallicity of the star companion supports the scenario that metal-poor massive stars are progenitors of the high-mass BHs detected by gravitational-wave telescopes. The Galactic orbit of the system and its metallicity indicate that it might belong to the Sequoia halo substructure. Alternatively, and more plausibly, it could belong to the ED-2 stream, which likely originated from a globular cluster that had been disrupted by the Milky Way.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL2
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Volume686
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2024

Funding

FundersFunder number
European Space Agency
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek
Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg
French Programme National de Physique Stellaire
Fonds De La Recherche Scientifique - FNRS
PNPS106.21JJ.001

    Keywords

    • Astrometry
    • Binaries: spectroscopic
    • Stars: Population II
    • Stars: black holes
    • Stars: evolution
    • Stars: massive

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