Supermassive black hole has been discovered
Since black holes do not emit anything that we can fix, we simply do not know much about them.
The most confusing of these are supermassive black holes in which millions and billions of solar masses gather. We know that black holes arise from the nuclei of massive dead stars, but how do supermassive black holes grow to such enormous sizes? The new discovery may provide some answers to this question.
In one tiny galaxy 110 million light-years away, astronomers have discovered one of the smallest supermassive black holes known to date. Just 200,000 solar masses gather in this black hole in the middle of the galaxy Mrk 462.
“The black hole of Mrk 462 is one of the smallest supermassive holes we have ever found. “It’s extremely difficult to find these black holes,” said Jack Parker, an astronomer at Dartmouth College.
His discovery indicates that supermassive black holes, at least some of them, do not form directly large and then grow, but grow from “seeds” of stellar mass less than 100 solar masses.
One of the “thorns” that painfully pierces the stellar mass model is that too many supermassive black holes have been discovered in the early universe. It’s really hard to imagine how these little stellar black holes could have turned into huge supermassive black holes in such a short time from a big bang.
Another possibility is that in the early universe, huge, dense clouds of gas and dust would directly collapse into black holes with masses of tens of thousands of solar masses, thus producing adult starting points from which supermassive black holes would then grow.
This in turn allows us to identify the probability of each scenario because the direct collapse model is a rare process. It also means that a relatively small number of dwarf galaxies must contain supermassive black holes than in the case of the stellar seed model.
However, there is one moment. It is difficult to see central black holes in dwarf galaxies. In large galaxies, astronomers use star orbits in the center to determine if there is a supermassive black hole, but dwarf galaxies are too small and faint to use this method.
Another method is to look for extremely bright, high-energy radiation, such as X-rays. This indicates a black hole that is actively absorbing matter that is heated to such a high temperature that it emits high-energy light.
The researchers did just that – using the Chandra X-ray Observatory to study eight dwarf galaxies whose optical data indicated that they may have contained an active supermassive black hole. Only the galaxy Mrk 462 was found to have an X-ray of a supermassive black hole in the process of absorbing matter; Its mass must be about 200,000 times that of our Sun.
However, there was another peculiarity. The proportion of high- and low-energy X-rays indicated that the black hole was heavily clouded, i.e., wrapped in a thick cloud of dust.
This, in turn, may weigh the scales towards the stellar seed scenario.
“Because obscured black holes are more difficult to detect than naked ones, finding this specimen could mean that there are many dwarf galaxies in the universe with similar black holes,” said Dartmouth College astronomer Ryan Hickox.
According to the latest research, this may indeed be the case. In the last few years, astronomers have discovered highly intact, intermediate-mass black holes in dwarf galaxies and dwarf galaxy remnants. This may support the idea that supermassive black holes could grow very quickly from the “seeds” of stellar mass.
Our technologies are improving and we will probably discover many black holes in the near future that are still able to hide from us.
“We can not draw solid conclusions from one example, but these results should encourage us to explore black holes in dwarf galaxies,” said Jack Parker, an astronomer at Dartmouth College.
The study was presented at the 239th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.