Scientists discover a very small, but hungry 'supermassive' Black Hole

Astronomers used NASA instruments to observe one of the first 'obscured' supermassive black holes in a galaxy with minimal stars.

Published Jan 12, 2022 1:03 AM CST   |   Updated Mon, Feb 7 2022 8:00 PM CST
1 minute & 5 seconds read time

A "supermassive" black hole has been discovered by astronomers who were observing a dwarf galaxy with NASA instruments.

The discovery was announced during a virtual meeting of the American Astronomical Society on Monday, and according to the announcement, the astronomers have discovered a black hole that has a mass of around 200,000 times the mass of the Sun. Astronomers used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to observe eight dwarf galaxies and found that within the galaxy named Mrk 462 contained a supermassive black hole that's actively feeding.

According to a report by RT, the discovery is one of the first times that researchers have been able to observe an "obscured" black hole within a galaxy that only has a few hundred million stars. Researchers detected the X-ray signature from the black hole within Mrk 462, and based on the acquired data, astronomers believe the black hole is "heavily obscured" by gas and clouds of dust.

"Because buried black holes are even harder to detect than exposed ones, finding this example might mean there are a lot more dwarf galaxies out there with similar black holes," co-lead researcher Ryan Hickox said in a NASA statement.

While the black hole at the center of Mrk 462 is classified as "supermassive", researcher Jack Parker states that it's "among the smallest" of its kind.

Scientists discover a very small, but hungry 'supermassive' Black Hole 01 |
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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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