Scientists have found something utterly astounding in a far-off galaxy, something that could change how we think about black holes.
Scientists at NASA using the Hubble Space Telescope were astonished by something they found lurking in deep space: a supermassive black hole that had been kicked out of its own galaxy. Supermassive black holes are located within the central core of a galaxy, and are the object that all of the other stars in the galaxy revolve around, but not in this case.
Incredibly, scientists discovered in galaxy 3C186, 8 billion light years from Earth, the black hole had been expelled. They based that on spotting a quasar about 35,000 light years from the center, and speeding away at 4.7 million miles per hour. And it’s not a small black hole either at 1 billion solar masses.
Scientists think it would have taken 100 million supernovae exploding simultaneously to force the black hole out of the galay in that fashion, a truly mystifying and fascinating discovery. Astronomers think this may have resulted from a merger of galaxies, and two central supermassive black holes colliding, blasting one of them outward.
“If our theory is correct, the observations provide strong evidence that supermassive black holes can actually merge,” explains Stefano Bianchi on the importance of the discovery. “There is already evidence of black hole collisions for stellar-mass black holes, but the process regulating supermassive black holes is more complex and not yet completely understood.”