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Astronomers have discovered mid-sized black hole, which might be a ‘missing link’ in their evolution

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A new discovery of a mid-sized black hole has raised hopes among scientists to understand the theory behind the evolution of a black hole. Recently, astronomers said that they have found the strongest evidence of a medium-sized black hole, reported AFP.

The presence of mid-sized black holes provides a connection to the “missing link” in understanding the evolution of black holes. So far, astronomers have been able to find supermassive black holes, generally located at the heart of galaxies, and smaller ones, which are around 100 times the mass of the Sun.

Mid-sized black hole at the centre of Omega Centauri

The recent discovery was made at the centre of Omega Centauri, the biggest cluster of stars in the Milky Way, around 18,000 light years from Earth. After a close observation of Omega Centauri, astronomers and researchers were able to spot “something peculiar,” Maximilian Haeberle, a PhD student at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, told AFP.

How was the mid-sized black hole discovered?

A mid-sized black hole was discovered in a dense cluster of stars. The unusual speed of seven stars at the centre helped astronomers identify the presence of a black hole.

Seven stars at the centre, were moving too fast. According to AFP, at such speeds, the seven stars should have shot straight out of the cluster — but the gravitational pull of some invisible lurking monster seemed to be sucking them in.

Discovery of blackhole, like finding ‘Bigfoot’

The recent discovery has sent a wave of happiness and shock among scientists, researchers, and astronomers who were keenly waiting to find that ‘missing link’ in the theory of the evolution of black holes. The identification of a mid-sized black hole is “like finding the first evidence for Bigfoot — people are going to freak out,” AFP quoted study co-author Matthew Whittaker of the University of Utah.

The black hole discovered at the centre of Omega Centauri has a mass of around 8,200 Suns. This would put it right in the middle range of black holes that have proved so elusive. Supermassive black holes, which squat at the centre of galaxies like spiders in a web, are classified as having more than 100,000 solar masses.

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Published: 11 Jul 2024, 07:45 AM IST

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