Feast your eyes on this super small massive black hole that astronomers just discovered. The “small” adjective was not introduced my mistake. This is the smallest super massive black hole scientists have ever discovered.
It is located in a dwarf, disc galaxy which is 340 million light years away, so there is no need to worry about it eating us any time soon. The astronomers from the University of Michigan have detected this black hole in the middle of the galaxy and its size is like none other’s.
It only has 50,000 times the mass of the sun and it is half the size of any other known super massive black hole. And to make it a little funnier, it is about 100,000 times less massive than other black holes that find themselves at the heart of their galaxies.
Elena Gallo, assistant astronomy professor in the U-M College of Literature, called it a “teeny supermassive black hole”. But despite being a baby massive black hole, it seems to be engulfing the energy around it as fast as black holes from other massive galaxies do.
There are two known types of black holes: stellar mass black holes and the supermassive black holes. The stellar mass holes are formed when a very large star collapses and dies. They have the mass of a few suns. The supermassive holes have had, up until now, around 100 thousand times the mass of the sun.
It is highly speculated that every galaxy has a black hole at its center. They are a little tricky to be identified because you cannot see them. But this hole is the first one to have been identified in a dwarf galaxy
This little galaxy, which researchers have named RGG 118, is very small and it is believed not to have merged with any other galaxy until now. The galaxy provides an example as to how others, including our own Milky Way, have formed and have lived through their youth. It is believe that larger galaxies were created through the merging with others.
Scientists believe that, by observing how a galaxy feeds its black hole, they can gain a deeper understanding of how galaxies formed in the earlier stages of the universe.
Perhaps the theory that explains that black holes do exist at the center of the universe are indeed true judging by the fact that galaxies have their round shape. It is possible that black holes do not only consume energy, but also release it in space, giving it direction.
Either way, it will be fascinating to see what scientists will discover after studying this tiny gigantic black hole.
Photo Credits yimg.com