Medium-mass black hole detected

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Relatively small black holes of stellar mass are formed as a result of the collapse of large stars; huge supermassive black holes grow in the centers of entire galaxies. But the black holes of intermediate, average mass (ChDSM) – from 100 to 100 thousand masses of the Sun – remain a mystery.

Even their education is actively debated by scientists, although the most popular hypothesis explains their appearance by the merging of holes in stellar masses.

So far, only a few candidates are known , and not one of them is unambiguously identified as a VDSM. A new such source is reported in an article published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. Briefly about the find tells the press release of the team of the Hubble Space Telescope, with which it was made.

It is worth saying that the VHFs are far from so large that they can be noticed by the powerful glow of the accretion disk or by the gravitational influence on neighboring stars. An opportunity to detect such a hole is provided by chance: for example, a star that came too close to it, destroyed and absorbed by its attraction, finally throwing bright flashes.

A team of astrophysicists from the University of New Hampshire, Dacheng Lin, discovered a similar object by analyzing XMM-Newton and Chandra X-ray telescope observation archives.

The source 3XMM J215022.4-055108, noticed in 2006, could already become a strong candidate for medium-mass black holes, however, similar x-ray flares could be associated with other objects. For example, a cooling neutron star, not too far away, within our Galaxy could manifest itself in this way.

Therefore, Dacheng Lin and his colleagues used the Hubble Space Telescope for additional observations.

This work revealed that 3XMM J215022.4-055108 is located in a remote, small and fairly dense star cluster – possibly the remains of an ancient galaxy destroyed by gravity of a heavier neighbor.

The mass of the source is estimated at 50 thousand masses of the Sun, and the Hubble team calls it the most reliable candidate for the “title” of a black hole of intermediate mass.


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