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Astronomers spot ‘missing link’ black hole – not too big and not too small

WASHINGTON Scientists have detected a new mid-size dark-colored hole – considered the “missing link” in the understanding of these celestial brutes – eviscerating an unfortunate star that strayed too close.

Using data from the Hubble Space Telescope and two X-ray observatories, the researchers determined that this black hole is more than 50, 000 times the mass of our sun and located 740 million light years from Earth in a dwarf galaxy, one containing far fewer stars than our Milky Way.

Black holes are extraordinarily dense objects possessing gravitational pulls so powerful that not even light can escape.

This is one of the few “intermediate-mass” black cracks ever determined, being considerably smaller than often the supermassive dark-colored holes that reside in the centre of large galaxies but much larger than so-called stellar-mass dark holes produced by the failure of substantial individual celebrities.

“We confirmed that an object that we discovered originally back in 2010 is indeed an intermediate-mass black hole that ripped apart and swallowed a passing star, ” said University of Toulouse astrophysicist Natalie Webb, a co-author of the review published recently in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The legend was possibly roughly a third the mass of the sun, Webb mentioned.

Webb said scientists include searched for intermediate-mass black slots for 4 decades in addition to fewer than 10 good examples are known, while large numbers may possibly exist.

“So finding a new one is very significant. Also, a black hole swallowing a star happens on average only once every 10, 000 years or so in any particular galaxy so these are rare occurrences, ” Webb added.

The supermassive black opening at the center from the Milky Way is 4 million periods the muscle size of the sunrays and positioned 26, 1000 light years from Earth. The nearest stellar-mass dark star is around 6, 000 light several years from Earth. A light 12 months is the long distance light travels in a year, 5. 9 trillion miles (9. 5 trillion km).

Webb referred to as intermediate-mass dark-colored holes the “missing link” in understanding the range of black holes. Scientists know how stellar-mass black holes – roughly three to 100 times the mass of our sun – form. They do not know how intermediate-mass black holes form but suspect that supermassive black holes arise from their mid-size brethren.

“Without finding such objects, it turned out impossible to help validate this specific theory, ” Webb said.

Intermediate-mass black holes have remained elusive.

“The best explanation is that they are mainly designed for in an atmosphere that is devoid of gasoline, leaving typically the black holes with no material to consume and thus little rays to produce – which inturn makes them really difficult to position, ” said University of New Hampshire astronomer and study lead author Dacheng Lin.