The discovery of supermassive black holes in smaller galaxies may help astronomers unravel the mysteries surrounding how very large black holes grow.
Researchers have used NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory to identify a black hole in the galaxy Mrk462 that contains about 200,000 times the mass of the sun buried in gas and dust.
Mrk 462 contains only hundreds of millions of stars, making it a dwarf galaxy. In contrast, our Milky Way has hundreds of billions of stars. This is one of the first to discover a heavily buried or “obscured” supermassive black hole. Dwarf galaxy..
“This black hole in Mrk462 is one of the smallest supermassive black holes. Black HoleJack Parker of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire said he led the study with his colleague Ryan Hickox, also from Dartmouth. “It is famous for being very difficult to find such a black hole.”
In larger galaxies, astronomers often find black holes by looking for the rapid movement of stars in the center of the galaxy. However, dwarf galaxies are too small and dim to detect in most galaxies today. Another technique is to look for signs of growing black holes, such as the gas being heated to millions of degrees and glowing with x-rays as it falls towards the black hole.
Researchers in this study used Chandra to examine eight dwarf galaxies that previously provided hints for black hole growth from optical data collected by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Of those eight, only Mrk462 showed a growing black hole X-ray sign.
High-energy X-rays with unusually high intensities compared to low-energy X-rays, along with data at other wavelengths, indicate that the Mrk462 black hole is badly concealed by the gas.
“Finded black holes are more difficult to detect than exposed black holes, so finding this example may mean that there are far more dwarf galaxies with similar black holes,” says Hikox. I did. “This is important because it can help address key problems in astrophysics. How did black holes grow so early on? universe?? “
Previous studies have shown that black holes can grow to a billion Solar mass By the time the universe is less than a billion years old, it is only a small part of its current age. One idea is that these giant objects were created when a giant star collapsed to form a black hole that weighed about 100 times the mass of the Sun. However, theoretical studies have struggled to explain how weight can be packed fast enough to reach the size found in the early universe.
Another explanation is that the early universe was seeded with black holes containing tens of thousands of solar masses when they were created, probably from the collapse of huge clouds of gas and dust.
Most of the dwarf galaxies with supermassive black holes are thought to have formed billions of solar mass objects in the early universe, with small black hole species from early generation stars growing surprisingly rapidly. I support. The smaller parts will tilt the scale to support the idea that black holes began life with the weight of tens of thousands of suns.
These expectations are true, as the conditions required for a direct collapse from a giant cloud to a medium-sized black hole should be rare. Therefore, it is not expected that most of the dwarf galaxies will contain supermassive black holes. Stellar black holes, on the other hand, are expected in all galaxies.
“We can’t draw a strong conclusion from one example, but this result should facilitate a much wider search for black holes buried in dwarf galaxies,” Parker said. “We are excited about what we can learn.”
These results will be presented at the 239th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Salt Lake City and were part of a virtual press conference held on Monday, January 10.
Chandra X-ray Center
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“Mini” monster black holes can hold clues to the growth of giants
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