A team of astronomers has discovered a supermassive black hole on a few hundred thousand solar masses in a dwarf galaxy, Mrk 462. The discovery of this “small” black hole hidden by gas and matter could allow scientists to learn more about formation and life cycle of these cosmic phenomena.
Among the cosmic ogres that are supermassive black holes, it sometimes happens to find specimens of small size. A team ofhas published a press release on the detection of a in the heart of Markarian 462 (Mrk 462). Located at 110 million Mrk 462 proves to be a compact system, although it is more sparsely populated than other galaxies such as . The researchers used Chandra, who has discovered several black holes since the beginning of her mission. Studying the galactic core of Mrk 462 would put scientists on track to understand the evolution of black holes.
Supermassive black hole for a dwarf galaxy
The characteristics of the black hole in Mrk 462 arouse the curiosity of scientists. Jack Parker, an astronomer from the University of Dartmouth (USA), explained on the occasion of a conference forAmerican Astronomical Society, on 10 January that ” this supermassive black hole is one of the smallest ever found »despite its 200,000solar power (200,000 times or 1,989 × 1030 ). Discovering this phenomenon in the heart of a dwarf galaxy proved to be a complex task. Mrk 462 has a special configuration that brings together a few hundred million against hundreds of billions in one “classic” such as the Milky Way or (Andromeda). With its status as a dwarf galaxy, the Mrk 462 thus has a relatively compact appearance, the supermassive black hole is obscured by and gravitating around.
This parameter greatly complicated its detection. In the case of larger galaxies,usually occurs through the observation of stars orbiting in its environment, studying their (including redshift, or red shift) or even theirs of . But in the case of the black hole in the Markarian 462, which turns out to be “buried” under a large amount of gas, the scientists were helped by a device with incredible precision: the Chandra telescope.
Chandra tracks X-rays
While viscous gas spirals toward the event horizon of a black holewill experience a strong friction effect. The latter will evoke and cause one of . Certain devices such as the Chandra Space Telescope can then capture this radiation. Chandra, launched in 1999 by is equipped with three and a camera for performing precise observations of objects such as pulsars, of or black holes, making it one of the most successful observatories in the last 30 years.
The discovery of the black hole from Mrk 462 makes it possible to assume the existence of such phenomena in other dwarf galaxies and thus learn more about the evolution of black holes into giant monsters of several million solar masses. Some of them formed very quickly after the beginning of the universe (about a billion years later)), without the researchers being able to explain how. If the dissertation of the gravity of a massive star into a black hole is the most prevalent today, they can also occur during the collapse of matter to dense .
If the study of Markarian 462 is only in its infancy, NASA astronomers do not hide their desire to continue trackingto learn more about these mysterious phenomena.