A new scientific milestone has been reached as the Hubble Space Telescope found the best candidate for a black hole with an intermediate-mass. For reference, a black hole of this size has a mass of approximately 50,000 suns.
There is a significant amount of information related to stellar-mass black holes and supermassive black holes across the universe. A supermassive black hole resides at the heart of the Milky Way, our own galaxy. However, intermediate-mass black holes have puzzled researchers for a long time. One of the biggest questions is related to the way in which the intermediate-mass black holes form and possible similarities with supermassive black holes.
Hubble was focused on a high-potential IMHB candidate classified under the scientific name of 3XMMJ215022.4−055108. The data collected by the spacecraft was analyzed by a team of researchers. A remarkable event has been observed in the form of a tidal disruption as the black hole exerts a powerful gravitational pull over a star.
Scientists employed the Hubble Space Telescope to track a black hole missing link
The tidal disruption will lead to the release of X-ray energy glow as the start is being consumed by the intermediate-mass black hole. Initial data infer that the mass of the IMBH is on par with that of 50,000 solar masses. Scientists have managed to detect it after it consumed a smaller star which came too close.
It is worth noting that the researchers were also surprised by the fact that the source of the x-ray emission did not come from the Milky Way as the IMBH is located near the outskirts of a nearby galaxy, in a dense galactic cluster.
Some signs infer that the star cluster may have been a low-mass dwarf galaxy at some point in the past, but the influence of the black hole led to significant alterations. More data about the fascinating object can be found in a paper published in a scientific journal.