Supermassive black hole discovered in dwarf galaxyJanuary 10th, 2011 - 2:20 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Jan 10 (ANI): Astronomers have discovered a supermassive black hole in a small nearby galaxy that may shed light on how black holes and galaxies may have grown in the early history of the Universe.
They said that finding a black hole a million times more massive than the Sun in a star-forming dwarf galaxy is a strong indication that supermassive black holes formed before the buildup of galaxies.
The galaxy, called Henize 2-10, 30 million light-years from Earth, has been studied for years, and is forming stars very rapidly.
“This galaxy gives us important clues about a very early phase of galaxy evolution that has not been observed before,” said Amy Reines, of the University of Virginia.
“Now, we have found a dwarf galaxy with no bulge at all, yet it has a supermassive black hole. This greatly strengthens the case for the black holes developing first, before the galaxy’s bulge is formed,” said Reines.
The researchers found a region near the center of the galaxy that strongly emits radio waves with characteristics of those emitted by super-fast “jets” of material spewed outward from areas close to a black hole.
They then searched images from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory that showed this same, radio-bright region to be strongly emitting energetic X-rays. This combination indicates an active, black-hole-powered, galactic nucleus, they said.
While central black holes of roughly the same mass as the one in Henize 2-10 have been found in other galaxies, those galaxies all have much more regular shapes.
Henize 2-10 differs not only in its irregular shape and small size but also in its furious star formation, concentrated in numerous, very dense “super star clusters.”
“This galaxy probably resembles those in the very young Universe, when galaxies were just starting to form and were colliding frequently. All its properties, including the supermassive black hole, are giving us important new clues about how these black holes and galaxies formed at that time,” said Johnson. (ANI)
- Astronomers find supermassive black holes - Sep 01, 2011
- Scientists discover active black hole in the 'Eye of Sauron' - Mar 11, 2011
- How black holes fire gas jets into space - Jan 12, 2012
- Awesome power of supermassive black holes revealed - Apr 17, 2010
- NASA's Swift satellite finds unseen black-hole-powered galaxies - Jan 21, 2011
- NASA scientists' breakthrough in determining hyperactivity of black holes - Dec 21, 2010
- How merging black holes go on a rampage of star-eating - Apr 11, 2011
- NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory Finds Cosmic "Ghost" - Sep 05, 2010
- Origin of key cosmic explosions still shrouded in mystery - Jul 13, 2010
- Boffins uncover most powerful pair of jets ever seen from a black hole - Jul 08, 2010
- NASA finds giant ring of black holes - Feb 10, 2011
- New levels of complexity and intrigue revealed in Milky Way's center - Sep 23, 2009
- Supermassive black hole gets kicked out of galaxy - May 12, 2010
- Radio waves from black hole detected - Jul 11, 2012
- Eruption of galactic 'super-volcano' caught in action - Aug 20, 2010
Tags: black hole, center of the galaxy, chandra x ray, dwarf galaxy, early history of the universe, galactic nucleus, galaxies, galaxy evolution, galaxy washington, history of the universe, irregular shape, million light years, nearby galaxy, radio waves, ray observatory, reines, star formation, super star clusters, supermassive black holes, x rays