A supermassive black hole may be hiding in a dwarf galaxy near the Milky Way

Towards the end of the 1960s, there were a few researchers, including Martin Rees, but especially his colleague and countrymanastrophysicist British Donald Lynden-Bell, claimed that the majority of large galaxies must host supermassive black holes in their center. This is a dissertation that has been widely accepted for at least 20 years, although a conclusive proof of the presence of objects that actually have an event horizon in accordance with the predictions in the theory of general theory of relativity still missing.

We also noticed that very often there was a remarkable and constant proportionality between the masses of supermassive black holes and the masses of the galaxies that house them, which very likely implies a common growth mechanism. When galaxies like The Milky Way Where M87 were dwarf galaxies, so they must also contain black holes, certainly massive, but smaller than those observed today in their hearts.

The dwarf galaxies known to be in orbit around’Andromeda and the Milky Way also contains giant black holes that are not of star origin? An answer exists today in the case of the galaxy Lion I (Leo I). It is a dwarf galaxy spheroidal which is part of our local group and which is located at approximately 820,000 light years of the Milky Way.

A team of astrophysicists using observations provided by the instrument called Virus-W on the 2.7-meter-long Harlan J. Smith telescope at the McDonald Observatory has just published an article about it in The Astrophysical Journal. It is freely available at arXiv.

A supermassive black hole of 3.3 million solar masses

The discovery of a black hole in the heart of Leo I is surprising because it is almost as massive as our own galaxy, which contains about 4 million solar masses. It is therefore not a medium black hole.. A similar discovery had never been made before.

Initially, the goal was to understand the content better black fabric by Leo I. As part of standard cosmological model one of the pioneers is Nobel Prize in Physics James Peebles. There should be many dwarf galaxies containing black fabric orbits large galaxies such as the Milky Way. This is not the case, the study of those we know can give us information about the nature of dark matter, of which there are several modeling, or help to disprove its existence. Leo I amazed astrophysicists because it appeared to contain less dark matter than its cousins ​​orbiting the Milky Way.

The researchers therefore combined data provided by the Virus-W instrument with simulations on computers to subtract movements from stars and measured the distribution and the exact amount of dark matter in Leo I. The data actually turned out to indicate the existence of a central supermassive black hole around 3.3 million solar masses in the dwarf galaxy, which is contrary to the usual law of the ratio of the mass of a giant black hole and the mass of its host galaxy.

Clearly, this is information that is likely to resize growth patterns for supermassive black holes and, of course, galaxies. This could, for example, mean that black holes of billions of solar masses are the result of capture dwarf galaxies which merges with a large galaxy, a fusion that would be accompanied by fusion of their giant black holes. After all, we now believe that the main mechanism for the growth of these black holes comes from accumulation of cold wire material.

In any case, we will know more when we have studied more carefully other satellite dwarf galaxies, which will precisely make it possible to make many dwarf galaxies fromsouthern hemisphere which are good goals for Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) currently in construction in Chile, partly designed for this type of work.

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