Gravitational Wave Kicks Monster Black Hole Out of Galactic Core

Article Excerpt:

Astronomers have uncovered a supermassive black hole that has been propelled out of the center of a distant galaxy by what could be the awesome power of gravitational waves.

Astronomers have uncovered a supermassive black hole that has been propelled out of the center of a distant galaxy by what could be the awesome power of gravitational waves.

Weighing more than 1 billion suns, the rogue black hole is the most massive black hole ever detected to have been kicked out of its central home.

“Black holes reside in the center of galaxies, so it’s unusual to see a quasar not in the center.” The team calculated the black hole’s distance from the core by comparing the distribution of starlight in the host galaxy with that of a normal elliptical galaxy from a computer model.

“To our surprise, we discovered that the gas around the black hole was flying away from the galaxy’s center at 4.7 million miles an hour,” said team member Justin Ely of STScI. This measurement is also a gauge of the black hole’s velocity, because the gas is gravitationally locked to the monster object.

According to their theory, two galaxies merge, and their black holes settle into the center of the newly formed elliptical galaxy.

Astronomers have evidence of black-hole collisions for stellar-mass black holes, but the process regulating supermassive black holes is more complex and not completely understood.

Source: Gravitational Wave Kicks Monster Black Hole Out of Galactic Core


Also published on Medium.