July 19, 2024

Brighton Journal

Complete News World

Hubble Space Telescope Discovers Nearest Supermassive Black Hole to Earth – Cosmic Evidence Frozen in Time

Hubble Space Telescope Discovers Nearest Supermassive Black Hole to Earth – Cosmic Evidence Frozen in Time

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the closest supermassive black hole to Earth ever seen, a cosmic behemoth “frozen in time.”

As an example of an “intermediate-mass black hole” that is difficult to detect, this object may be a missing link in understanding the relationship between stellar mass and supermassive black holes. The black hole appears to have a mass of about 8,200 solar masses, making it much more massive than stellar-mass black holes, which have masses between 5 and 100 solar masses, and much less massive than supermassive black holes, which have masses of millions to billions of solar masses. The closest stellar-mass black hole scientists have discovered is called Gaia-BH1, and it is located just 1,560 light-years away.

On the other hand, the newly discovered intermediate-mass black hole resides in a stunning cluster of about ten million stars called Omega Centauri, which is located about 18,000 light-years from Earth.

(Image credit: ESA/Hubble/NASA/M. Haberle (MPIA))

Interestingly, the fact that the “frozen” black hole appears to have stopped growing supports the idea that Omega Centauri is the remnant of an ancient galaxy that was devoured by our own.