Supermassive black hole is discovered moving

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Ricky Joseph

Astronomers have detected a supermassive black hole moving through its own galaxy. The discovery was reported in The Astrophysical Journal.

We know that almost every large galaxy harbors a supermassive black hole. Until now, we thought that these cosmic monsters were relatively stationary, with the entire galaxy revolving around them. But a recent discovery indicates that this is not exactly the case.

"They're so big that it's hard to get them to move," explains Dominic Pesce, who led the study. "Consider how much harder it is to hit a moving bowling ball than it is to hit a football, knowing that in this case, the bowling ball is several million times more massive than our Sun."


Astronomers have speculated for some time that supermassive black holes can move in space. But evidence has never been found. Now they have the proof they needed.

As part of this study, Pesce and his team observed ten large galaxies over five years, wondering: are the speeds of the black holes equal to the speeds of the galaxies in which they reside? If not, that would mean the black hole has been ruptured and is now moving.

For this work, the team focused specifically on objects whose accretion disk contained water. When wrapped around a black hole, H2O molecules produce a laser-like beam of radio light, called a "maser." And when analyzed, these masers can make it possible to measure the speed of a black hole very accurately.

At the end of their five-year follow-up, the astronomers determined that nine of the ten black holes analyzed were at rest. However, one of them was in motion.

Located 230 million light-years from Earth, the object, which has an estimated mass of three million times that of the Sun, is moving at more than sup177,000 km / h at the center of a galaxy called J0437 + 2456.

Merger of two supermassive black holes?

For now, the reasons for this change are not known, but astronomers have their own ideas. "We may be observing the consequences of the merger of two supermassive black holes," emphasizes Jim Condon, a radio astronomer at the National Radio Astronomical Observatory who participated in the study. "This merger could, in fact, have pushed back the object resulting from this union."

More observations will be needed to identify the true cause of this unusual movement.

Ricky Joseph is a seeker of knowledge. He firmly believes that through understanding the world around us, we can work to better ourselves and our society as a whole. As such, he has made it his life's mission to learn as much as he can about the world and its inhabitants. Joseph has worked in many different fields, all with the aim of furthering his knowledge. He has been a teacher, a soldier, and a businessman - but his true passion lies in research. He currently works as a research scientist for a major pharmaceutical company, where he is dedicated to finding new treatments for diseases that have long been considered incurable. Through diligence and hard work, Ricky Joseph has become one of the foremost experts on pharmacology and medicinal chemistry in the world. His name is known by scientists everywhere, and his work continues to improve the lives of millions.