Science

Wandering Black Hole Found By X-ray Telescopes

By Rodney Rafols , Oct 06, 2016 03:27 AM EDT
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Black holes continue to fascinate those who are interested in space. Astronomers still puzzle over them as black holes cannot be seen, but can be inferred through observation of objects around or near one. Most black holes are stationary, remaining where they are as a remnant of a star at the end of its life, or else like supermassive black holes are in the center of galaxies.

There are some black holes though that become rogue or wander. This happens usually when galaxies collide and rip objects from each other. This is not true only of black holes, but planets and stars can become rogue as well. A rogue black hole though can be a particularly dangerous object in space.

One of these wandering black holes has been found in the galaxy SDSS J141711.07+522540.8. The galaxy is about 4.5 billion light years from Earth, according to Phys Org. The black hole has been designated as XJ1417+52 and has been discovered after long observations on a region known as the Extended Groth Strip. The observations were done using the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the ESA's XMM-Newton-X-ray Observatory.

As Gizmodo notes the black hole is large, and even for a wandering black hole, it is unusually large. It has a mass 100,000 times than the Sun. Its size is said to be 3.13 million light years from tip to tip, which makes it a very large black hole.

XJ1417+52 has been discovered since its X-ray output has been great. Such a luminous object is classified as a hyper-luminous X-ray source, or HLX. Such objects are many times more luminous than stellar black holes. Since black holes themselves cannot be seen, the luminous objects detected around it are objects that emit radioactive light as it falls into the black hole.

XJ1417+52 might have been the center of a smaller galaxy that collided with the larger GJ1417+52 galaxy. After the collision the center black hole of the smaller galaxy has been ripped from it, and has since then wandered. With its distance, the wandering black hole won't be any danger any time soon to our galaxy.

A recent report also states of a galaxy going dark because of two massive black holes.

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