Astronomers Discovered Massive Black Hole in a Galaxy
By Jenalyn Villamarin | November 30, 2012 11:52 AM EST
With the use of UT-Austin's McDonald Observatory Hobby-Eberly Telescope, a team of astronomers found a massive black hole in a galaxy 220 million light years away.
The discovery is part of the team's ongoing research on the remarkable black hole's formation and interaction with their galaxy.
The discovered black hole, with an identified mass of 14 billion suns making up 14% of its home galaxy's mass, could be the biggest black hole to be ever exposed.
Karl Gebhardt, UT astronomy professor and research team member, said the massive black hole face up to numerous scientific theories.
"The black hole is a significant component for how a galaxy forms and how it evolves. There are lots of theories for why there is a relationship between the mass of a black hole and the mass of a galaxy," Gebhardt stated. The astounding discovery defied the previous theory that galaxies form first before the black holes.
According to the theory, galaxies initially form then materials assemble in the middle of the galaxy where the black holes start operating. Lastly, the galaxy feeds the black hole and its mass develops.
Now, astronomers base their theories on the latest discovery suggesting that a galaxy could not mount into a black hole composed of 14% mass of its galaxy. "We don't know of a mechanism to get that much material into the middle of a galaxy to grow a black hole to be this massive," Gebhardt said.
The astronomers have not yet clarified if this black hole is simply extraordinary or already pinpointing a development.
"This is a big universe. There are 100 billion galaxies out there. You're going to get some weird ones. But if we find this to be a pattern, which is my suspicion, then we are going to have to modify the theories for how you grow a black hole. We would not have been able to get this amount of data out of another telescope," Gebhardt explained.
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