Eternally collapsing object
An eternally collapsing object (ECO) is a self-gravitating ball of ultra-hot plasma which is almost as compact as black hole, and yet qualitatively different from a black hole. In other words, an ECO is a hypothesized quasi-black hole. This term was first coined by the Indian astrophysicist Abhas Mitra in 1998. Though Mitra admitted the correctness of the black hole solutions of general relativity theory, he argued that the so-called black hole candidates discovered by astronomers cannot be true mathematical black holes. He based this assertion on the claimed mathematical proof that the masses of the black holes obtained as integration constants of pertinent general relativistic differential equations are tacitly zero. Historically, Luis Bel was the first author to claim that the Schwarzschild Singularity is a `point singularity' contrary to the widely held view that the event horizon is a surface having a finite area. A new point of view is presented for which the Schwarzschild singularity becomes a real point singularity on which the sources of Schwarzschild's exterior solution are localized. Physically, Bel's contention implies that the gravitational mass of a Schwarzschild black hole is M=0. Following this; Janis, Newman & Winicour suggested that the "Schwarzschild singularity" may be a point singularity. A spherically symmetric solution of the Einstein equations is presented that coincides with the exterior (r>2m) Schwarzschild solution, but where the Schwarzschild "sphere" becomes a point singularity. In other words, the gravitational masses of the exact black holes are zero, and hence the observed black hole candidates must be quasi black holes, an assertion originally made by Jayant Narlikar and Thanu Padmanabhan.
It is shown that inconsistencies arise when we look upon the Schwarzschild solution as the space-time arising from a localized point singularity. The notion of black holes is critically examined, and it is argued that since black hole formation never takes place within the past light cone of a typical external observer, the discussion of physical behavior of black holes, classical or quantum, is only of academic interest. It is suggested that problems related to the source could be avoided if the event horizon did not form and that the universe only contained quasi-black holes.
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- J.V. Narlikar and T. Padmanabhan, Foundations of Physics, Vol. 18, pp.659–668 (1988)"The Schwarschild Solution: Some Conceptual Difficulties".