Astronomers Find No Explanation for Giant Black Hole Located in Small Satellite Galaxy

Astronomers Find No Explanation for Giant Black Hole Located in Small Satellite Galaxy
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Black holes are already weird enough by definition. They possess infinite gravity that absorbs even light, time simply stops inside these dark monsters, and the examples can continue. Astronomers are now once again stunned to conclude that a giant black hole could hide inside a dwarf spheroidal galaxy known as Leo I, according to LiveScience.com.

Leo I is even orbiting the Milky Way, which makes the former a satellite galaxy. The black hole is even about the same size as Sagittarius A, meaning the supermassive black hole from the heart of our Milky Way galaxy. The Leo I dwarf galaxy measures only 2,000 light-years across, meaning a lot less than the Milky Way.

Why the discovery is so incredible

The black hole is too big to normally exist in a galaxy so small as Leo I. Furthermore, black holes of such sizes become bigger as a result of collisions between galaxies.

Karl Gebhardt, a co-author of the new study and an astrophysicist at the University of Texas, Austin, declared as quoted by LiveScience.com:

You have a very small galaxy that is falling into the Milky Way, and its black hole is about as massive as the Milky Way’s,

The mass ratio is absolutely huge.

Another weird and amusing fact is that the new discovery came more by chance. Astronomers initially wanted to find out how much dark matter there is in the Leo I galaxy as they were using the Harlan telescope from the McDonald Observatory.

María José Bustamante, who is the lead author of the study paper, brings the jaw-dropping statement:

There is no explanation for this kind of black hole in dwarf spheroidal galaxies.

If you want to learn more about the new study, you can check it out in the Astrophysical Journal.

 


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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