Mini monster black hole could hold clues to giant's growth

Asia's Tech News Daily

Mini monster black hole could hold clues to giant's growth

The discovery of a supermassive black hole in a relatively small galaxy could help astronomers unravel the mystery surrounding how the very biggest black holes grow.

Researchers used NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory to identify a black hole containing about 200,000 times the mass of the Sun buried in gas and dust in the galaxy Mrk 462.

Mrk 462 contains only several hundred million stars, making it a dwarf galaxy. By contrast, our Milky Way is home to a few hundred billion stars. This is one of the first times that a heavily buried, or “obscured,” supermassive black hole has been found in a dwarf galaxy.

“This black hole in Mrk 462 is among the smallest of the supermassive, or monster, black holes,” said Jack Parker of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, who led the study with colleague Ryan Hickox, also from Dartmouth. “Black holes like this are notoriously hard to find.”

In larger galaxies astronomers often find black holes by looking for the rapid motions of stars in the centers of galaxies. However, dwarf galaxies are too small and dim for most current instruments to detect this. Another technique is to search for the signatures of growing black holes, such as gas being heated up to millions of degrees and glowing in X-rays as it falls towards a black hole.

The researchers in this study used Chandra to look at eight dwarf galaxies that had previously shown hints of black hole growth from optical data gathered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Of those eight, only Mrk 462 showed the X-ray signature of a growing black hole.

The unusually large intensity of high energy X-rays compared to low energy X-rays, along with comparisons to data at other wavelengths, indicates that the Mrk 462 black hole is heavily obscured by gas.

“Because buried black holes are even harder to detect than exposed ones, finding this example might mean there are a lot more dwarf galaxies out there with similar black holes,” said Hickox. “This is important because it could help address a major question in astrophysics: How did black holes get so big so early in the universe?”

Previous research has shown that black holes can grow to a billion solar masses by the time the universe is less than a billion years old, a small fraction of its current age. One idea is that these huge objects were created when massive stars collapsed to form black holes that weighed only about 100 times the mass of the Sun. Theoretical work, however, struggles to explain how they could pack on weight quickly enough to reach the sizes seen in the early universe.

An alternative explanation is that the early universe was seeded with black holes containing tens of thousands of solar masses when they were created – perhaps from the collapse of gigantic clouds of gas and dust.

A large fraction of dwarf galaxies with supermassive black holes favors the idea that small black hole seeds from the earliest generation of stars grew astonishingly quickly to form the billion solar mass objects in the early universe. A smaller fraction would tip the scales to favor the idea that black holes began life weighing tens of thousands of Suns.

These expectations apply because the conditions necessary for the direct collapse from a giant cloud to a medium-sized black hole should be rare, so it is not expected that a large fraction of dwarf galaxies would contain supermassive black holes. Stellar-mass black holes, on the other hand, are expected in every galaxy.

“We can’t make strong conclusions from one example, but this result should encourage much more extensive searches for buried black holes in dwarf galaxies,” said Parker. “We’re excited about what we might learn.”

These results were scheduled to be presented at the 239th meeting of the American Astronomical Society meeting in Salt Lake City, and were part of a virtual press briefing held on Monday, January 10th.

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center manages the Chandra program. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Chandra X-ray Center controls science operations from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and flight operations from Burlington, Massachusetts.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Palomar survey instrument analyzes impact of Starlink satellites

Since 2019, SpaceX has been launching an increasing number of internet satellites into orbit around Earth. The satellite constellation, called Starlink, now includes nearly 1,800 members orbiting at altitudes of ... Read more »

SpaceX launches 105 satellites from Florida

SpaceX successfully launched 105 satellites from Florida on Thursday morning as part of its rideshare program, which it uses to release satellites for dozens of customers in a single mission. ... Read more »

Using High Temperature Composites For Sustainable Space Travel

On the ground, sound waves travel at around 340 metres per second. An aircraft is Supersonic when it exceeds the speed of sound. Hypersonic speed is more than five times ... Read more »

Aliena deploys compact and fuel-efficient satellite engine into space

Aliena, a tech spin-off from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), has been deployed into space a nanosatellite fitted with a fuel-efficient engine it has developed. The nanosatellite was sent ... Read more »

Hubble views a tranquil galaxy with an explosive past

The lazily winding spiral arms of the spectacular galaxy NGC 976 fill the frame of this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This spiral galaxy lies around 150 million ... Read more »

Vast bubble in interstellar space source of all nearby, young stars

The Earth sits in a 1,000-light-year-wide void surrounded by thousands of young stars – but how did those stars form? In a paper appearing in Nature, astronomers at the Center ... Read more »

Webb Begins Its Months-Long Mirror Alignment

Webb has begun the detailed process of fine-tuning its individual optics into one huge, precise telescope. Engineers first commanded actuators – 126 devices that will move and shape the primary ... Read more »

DESI maps more galaxies than all previous surveys combined

The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) has cataloged more galaxies than all other previous three-dimensional redshift surveys combined, measuring 7.5 million galaxies in only seven months since beginning science operations. ... Read more »

$10M elevates UArizona hypersonics facilities to national prominence

University of Arizona aerospace and mechanical engineering researchers have received $3.5 million in funding from the state of Arizona’s investment in the New Economy Initiative and $6.5 million in federal ... Read more »

Loft Orbital signs with Airbus to procure 15 Arrow satellite platforms

Airbus has been contracted to supply space start-up Loft Orbital with more than fifteen satellite platforms derived from the Airbus Arrow platform. Arrow is the foundational satellite platform of the ... Read more »

Plato exoplanet mission gets green light for next phase

Plato, ESA’s next-generation planet hunting mission, has been given the green light to continue with its development after the critical milestone review concluded successfully on 11 January 2022. The review ... Read more »

Earth's interior is cooling faster than expected

The evolution of our Earth is the story of its cooling: 4.5 billion years ago, extreme temperatures prevailed on the surface of the young Earth, and it was covered by ... Read more »

New DAF software factory aims to digitally transform AFRL

The chief software officer for the Air Force recently designated Hangar 18 as a Department of the Air Force software factory. Hangar 18 joins 16 other DAF software factories-including the ... Read more »

Arase uncovers Geospace coupling between plasma waves and charged particles

In a new study published in Physical Review Letters, researchers from Japan show that high-frequency plasma waves in the Geospace can generate low-frequency plasma waves through wave-particle interactions by heating ... Read more »

Chile court freezes multi-million dollar lithium deal

A Chilean appeals court on Friday suspended a million-dollar state lithium tender issued two days earlier that had generated controversy for coming just two months before the end of conservative ... Read more »

Understanding the "cold spot" in the cosmic microwave background

After the Big Bang, the universe, glowing brightly, was opaque and so hot that atoms could not form. Eventually cooling down to about minus 454 degrees Fahrenheit (-270 degrees Celsius), ... Read more »

Evidence for a second supermoon beyond our solar system

Astronomers have reported a second, super-sized moon orbiting a Jupiter-sized planet beyond our solar system. If confirmed, the sighting could mean that exomoons are as common in the universe as ... Read more »

Virgin Orbit mission success brings UK satellite launch one step closer

Satellite launch from Spaceport Cornwall is a step closer following Virgin Orbit’s successful ‘Above the Clouds’ mission in the US. The UK Space Agency welcomes the news that Virgin Orbit ... Read more »

OMEGA joins ClearSpace to clean up space

ClearSpace SA is working to rid space of dangerous debris comprising left-over rockets and defunct satellites. Now, Swiss watchmaker OMEGA, manufacturer of the first watch worn on the Moon, is ... Read more »

Iran tests solid-fuel satellite carrier rocket

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards tested last week a solid-fuel satellite carrier rocket, state media has reported quoting the force’s aerospace commander as saying. Reports carried footage released by the elite force ... Read more »

SpaceX launches 44 SuperDove satellites for Planet Labs

Planet Labs reports the successful launch of its 4x Flock, consisting of 44 SuperDove satellites, into orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The company has established contact with all ... Read more »

Ironing out the interiors of exoplanets

The discovery of more than 4,500 extra-solar planets has created a need for modelling their interior structure and dynamics. As it turns out, iron plays a key role. Lawrence Livermore ... Read more »

New insights into seasons on a planet outside our solar system

Imagine being in a place where the winds are so strong that they move at the speed of sound. That’s just one aspect of the atmosphere on XO-3b, one of ... Read more »

Citizen Scientists Spot Jupiter-like Planet in NASA TESS Data

Tom Jacobs of Bellevue, Washington, loves treasure hunts. Since 2010, the former U.S. naval officer has participated in online volunteer projects that allow anyone who is interested – “citizen scientists” ... Read more »

Team of astronomers finds widest separation of brown dwarf pair to date

A team of astronomers, led by Arizona State University undergraduate student Emma Softich, has discovered a rare pair of brown dwarfs that has the widest separation of any brown dwarf ... Read more »

Pandora mission to study stars and exoplanets continues toward flight

The Pandora mission, co-led by a national laboratory and a NASA flight center, has passed a crucial step on its path to study stars and planets outside our solar system, ... Read more »

Unusual team finds gigantic planet hidden in plain sight

Riverside CA (SPX) Jan 14, 2022 A UC Riverside astronomer and a group of eagle-eyed citizen scientists have discovered a giant gas planet hidden from view by typical stargazing tools. ... Read more »

Photon pairs are more sensitive to rotations than single photons

In the field of quantum metrology, scientists are developing novel measurement schemes that benefit from quantum features and are more precise and sensitive than classical conventional methods. The team of ... Read more »

Newly-Found Planets On The Edge Of Destruction

Three newly-discovered planets have been orbiting dangerously close to stars nearing the end of their lives. Out of the thousands of extrasolar planets found so far, these three gas giant ... Read more »

Kleos' Patrol Mission satellites to launch in April

Kleos Space S.A, a space-powered Radio Frequency Reconnaissance data-as-a- service (DaaS) company, announces the Kleos Patrol Mission (KSF2) satellites, planned to launch in January 2022, have been remanifested to launch ... Read more »

Virgin Orbit launches a rocket carrying 7 satellites

Virgin Orbit kicked off an ambitious launch schedule for 2022 on Thursday by sending seven small satellites into space aboard a rocket launched from a jet high above the Pacific ... Read more »

Black hole at center of Milky Way unpredictable and chaotic

An international team of researchers, led by postgraduate student Alexis Andres, has found that the black hole at the centre of our galaxy, Sagittarius A*, not only flares irregularly from ... Read more »

SES Government Solutions Launches On-Demand X-band Service Platform

SES Government Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SES, announced the launch of tactiXs, a mission-specific managed service platform in partnership with Network Innovations and GovSat, a public-private joint venture between ... Read more »

Pixxel Partners with Rio Tinto to investigate benefits of hyperspectral satellite technology

Earth imaging company Pixxel has announced an early adoption partnership with Rio Tinto. Pixxel’s imaging satellites, capable of 5 meter hyperspectral imaging, will help Rio Tinto assess the benefits the ... Read more »

Are astronomers seeing a signal from giant black holes?

An international team of astronomers has discovered what could be the early sign of a background signal arising from supermassive black holes, observed through low-frequency gravitational waves. These scientists are ... Read more »

New theory finds upcoming satellite mission will be able to detect more than expected

The upcoming satellite experiment LiteBIRD is expected to probe the physics of the very early Universe if the primordial inflation happened at high energies. But now, a new paper in ... Read more »

How the Webb telescope could ultimately help protect Earth

The James Webb Space Telescope, the most complex and expensive space laboratory ever created, is less than two weeks away from its ultimate destination a million miles from Earth. Once ... Read more »

Watch live: Virgin Orbit plans to launch a rocket carrying 7 satellites

Virgin Orbit kicked off an ambitious launch schedule for 2022 on Thursday by sending seven small satellites into space aboard a rocket launched from a jet high above the Pacific ... Read more »

Oxygen ions in Jupiter's innermost radiation belts

Planets like Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn with global magnetic fields of their own are surrounded by so-called radiation belts: Trapped in the magnetic field, fast moving charged particles such as ... Read more »

It all comes down to the first electron

Every living thing requires energy. This is also true of microorganisms. This energy is frequently generated in the cells by respiration, that is by the combustion of organic compounds, in ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic