Unusual black hole discovered in nearby galaxy

(ORDO NEWS) — Astronomers have discovered a black hole unlike any other. This black hole has a mass of hundreds of thousands of solar masses, while other objects of this class are either giant black holes with masses of millions of solar masses found in the centers of galaxies, or tiny black holes with masses of no more than a few tens of solar masses – which form from massive stars as a result of their explosions.

Therefore, the object described in this new study has become one of the few confirmed intermediate-mass black holes – a real “holy grail” for astronomers.

“We have reliable definitions of huge stellar-mass black holes up to 100 solar diameters and supermassive black holes (SMBHs) located at the centers of galaxies, the dimensions of which are equivalent to millions of the size of the Sun, but so far we have not been able to register a significant number of objects, with intermediate sizes.

It’s a big shortfall, said Anil Seth, associate professor of astronomy at the University of Utah, USA, who co-authored the paper and is in charge of correspondence. “Our new discovery has added to this short list.”

This mysterious black hole was hidden inside the giant star cluster B023-G078, located in our neighboring Andromeda galaxy. Despite the fact that earlier B023-G078 was considered a globular cluster of stars for a long time, in their study, the authors of the work suggested that it is actually the “naked” core of the galaxy.

Bare cores are the remnants of small galaxies that have fallen into larger galaxies and lost peripheral stars due to tidal forces. As a result, only a tiny, dense core remains of a small galaxy, orbiting a larger galaxy, and in the center of this core lies a black hole.

“We have previously found large black holes inside massive, bare cores that are much larger than the B023-G078 black hole. We knew that less massive black holes could be found in smaller bare nuclei, but so far we have never been able to get direct evidence, said Renuka Pechetti, lead author of the study from the University of Liverpool.

John Moores, UK, who started this work while studying at the University of Utah. “I think we now have very unequivocal confirmation of the discovery of a real intermediate-mass black hole.”


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