Giant black hole discovered near Milky Way galaxy
The newly discovered black hole is reportedly the same size as the Milky Way's suspected black hole.
- The hole has a mass of roughly 3.3 million solar masses
- It is found at the heart of the Leo I galaxy
- It is some 820,000 light-years from Earth
New Delhi: Scientists have recently discovered a large black hole at the heart of one of the Milky Way’s satellite galaxies, which is reportedly the same size as the Milky Way's suspected black hole. The newly detected black hole has been found in the Leo I dwarf galaxy.
According to the researchers, the newly discovered black hole has a mass of roughly 3.3 million solar masses or around 16% of its galaxy's total mass.
“You have a very small galaxy that is falling into the Milky Way, and its black hole is about as massive as the Milky Way’s,” astronomer Karl Gebhardt, who is the co-author of the paper, told SciTechDaily.
The research was conducted by the astronomers at the McDonald Observatory at The University of Texas, Austin.
The recent discovery may compel researchers to revisit the manner in which destruction of material inside the galaxies are calculated and understood.
This is because, before the discovery, researchers were of the opinion that massive black hole’s form when galaxies collide, and their size and mass are generally proportional to the galaxy's size.
According to Gebhardt, this discovery is also significant because it will give astronomers, who have been studying galaxies like Leo I for years, an opportunity to understand the dispersion of dark matter inside these galaxies.
The Leo I dwarf galaxy, is some 820,000 light-years from Earth. Until now, the galaxy's mass was calculated to be about 15 to 30 million times the mass of our sun.