Scientists Discover New Black Hole That Devoured Nearby Star In Neighbouring Galaxy

Scientists Discover New Black Hole That Devoured Nearby Star In Neighbouring Galaxy

The black hole is located in a dwarf galaxy a million light-years away.

When an unlucky star strayed too close to an intermediate-mass black hole lurking undetected in a dwarf galaxy, it revealed itself to astronomers, according to a new study published in Nature Astronomy. 

The exploration allowed the mass of the black hole to be calculated. It could also assist researchers in understanding how black holes and galaxies interact.

According to the study published in the online magazine, massive black holes (BHs) at the centres of massive galaxies are ubiquitous. The population of BHs within dwarf galaxies, on the other hand, is not yet known. Dwarf galaxies are thought to harbour BHs with proportionally small masses, including intermediate-mass black holes.

“Identification of these systems has historically relied on the detection of light emitted from accreting gaseous disks close to the BHs. Without this light, they are difficult to detect,” the report further said.

According to ScienceDaily, the shredding of the star, known as a “tidal disruption event” or TDE, produced a flare of radiation that briefly outshone the combined stellar light of the host dwarf galaxy and could help scientists better understand the relationships between black holes and galaxies.

“This discovery has created widespread excitement because we can use tidal disruption events not only to find more intermediate-mass black holes in quiet dwarf galaxies, but also to measure their masses,” said coauthor Ryan Foley, an assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz who helped plan the YSE survey.

First author Charlotte Angus at the Niels Bohr Institute said the team’s findings provide a baseline for future studies of midsize black holes.

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