(ORDO NEWS) — The trail surrounding a distant galaxy may be a smoking tail indicating a runaway supermassive black hole.
Based on an analysis of light that traveled more than 7.5 billion years before us, a team of astronomers has presented evidence of a colossal object ejected from its galaxy 39 million years ago.
Now it is rushing through intergalactic space at a speed of 1600 kilometers per second.
Although the black hole itself is invisible, its trail is not: shocks left in the rarefied intergalactic medium leave behind a trail of star formation.
The work of the research team has shown another way in which we could identify immobile supermassive black holes ejected from their galaxies.
The image showed a bright streak pointing to the center of the irregular galaxy. The researchers initially thought it was a cosmic ray, but it showed up in both filters used for image processing.
In October 2022, they took new pictures with the Keck Observatory to calculate the redshift of the galaxy and the bands. As a result of this, it turned out that the strip has a length of more than 200,000 light years.
The analysis showed that the galaxy and the band have the same redshift, which means that they are probably related to each other, and the band and galaxy have the same color.
Looking more closely, the scientists were surprised to find that the band was not uniform in color or brightness.
It also shows signs of strong ionization and shock regions. Some of the ionization can be explained by the presence of very young, hot, massive stars.
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