Omega Centauris black hole makes it look like an impostorDecember 3rd, 2008 - 2:14 pm ICT by ANI
Munich, Dec 3 (ANI): New observations of the celestial giant Omega Centauri, have suggested that there is a medium sized black hole sitting at its centre, which has made astronomers suggest that the galaxy might be an impostor.
Appearing nearly as large as the full moon on the southern night sky, Omega Centauri is visible with the unaided eye from a clear, dark observing site.
Containing millions of stars, this globular cluster is located roughly 17,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Centaurus.
Even through a modest amateur telescope, the cluster is revealed as an incredible, densely packed sphere of glittering stars.
Now, new observations made with the Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini observatories have indicated that there is a medium sized black hole sitting at Omega Centauris centre.
The study showed that stars at the clusters centre were moving around at an unusual rate.
According to astronomers, the cause of this phenomenon can be attributed to the gravitational effect of a massive black hole with a mass of roughly 40000 times that of the Sun.
The presence of this black hole is just one of the reasons why some astronomers suspect Omega Centauri to be an imposter.
Some believe that it is in fact the heart of a dwarf galaxy that was largely destroyed in an encounter with the Milky Way.
Other evidence points to the several generations of stars present in the cluster, something unexpected in a typical globular cluster, which is thought to contain only stars formed at one time. (ANI)
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Tags: amateur telescope, centaurus, constellation, dwarf galaxy, evidence points, full moon, gemini, glittering stars, globular cluster, gravitational effect, hubble space telescope, imposter, impostor, light years, massive black hole, milky way, millions of stars, omega centauri, southern night sky, unaided eye