NASA Scientists Have Spotted A Massive Black Hole Gone Rogue


Evidence collected by the Chandra X-ray Observatory of NASA and XMM-Newton X-ray observatory of ESA have revealed a ‘wandering’ black hole. The strolling black hole was discovered on the outskirts of the galaxy GJ1417+52, distant enough to ensure we are in no immediate trouble. However, a wandering mass of gravitational despair is no good news at all!


Image Source: NASA


The black hole is now travelling on the peripheries of a galaxy more than 4.5 billion light-years away from the Earth. The scientists proposed that the black hole which is 100,000 times heavier than our sun formed the center of a smaller galaxy but was dislodged as it underwent a merger with a larger galaxy. Now, the homeless black hole has found home on the border of the new galaxy.


Image Source: Reuters


Black holes are categorized into three types; stellar, massive, and supermassive. Stellar black holes are about 20 times heavier than the sun; massive black holes outstrip the sun by 100,000 times, while the supermassive ones are a whopping 1 billion times heavier than the sun.

Intermediate and supermassive black holes usually occupy the center of the galaxies. Previously, NASA scientists had hypothesized about the existence of the ‘rogue’ black holes. These black holes were the ones wedged out by the bigger black hole during the merger of two galaxies.


Image Source: Reuters


Astronomer Dacheng Lin described in the Astrophysical Journal that there had been no stronger evidence for a black hole to be labelled ‘rogue’ than now. A star came a little too near the rogue black hole and was shredded to bits. A huge amount of X-rays was released by the encounter and was picked up by both the NASA and the ESA X-ray observatories.


Image Source: NASA


Owing to its brightness, the object has been categorised as ‘hyper-luminous X-ray source’ and is called XJ1417+52. It weighs about 100,000 times more than the sun and outshines the brightest X-ray source from a rogue black hole by 100,00 times. The object is more than 3.13 million light-years from end to end.


Image Source: NASA


Some scientists suggested that hundreds of such wandering black holes surround the Milky Way and are the relics of galaxy formation. However, they believe that none of the rogue black holes are of the same magnitude as the GJ1417+52.


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