Not all black holes are the same. The ‘small’ ones can be five times the size of our Sun. Supermassive ones have masses of millions of sunsAn intermediate, very special one has been discovered. It is devouring a star and throwing its glowing ‘crumbs’ after it. It is thought to be the origin of a super black hole.
The results have just been published in the journal ‘Nature Astronomy’. The Pan-STARRS observatory in Hawaii detected it. They were looking for supernovae. Then, they found something unexpected. A rapidly glowing object in a dwarf galaxy nearly a billion light-years away.
“We were lucky,” explains Charlotte Angus of the University of Copenhagen. They continued to observe the object, dubbed AT 2020neh, over the next few days and weeks. Its light curve peaked after just over 13 days. After that, it began a slow and prolonged decrease in its luminosity.
This could have been produced by a black hole with a mass between 100,000 and 1 million suns. It would be a sort of ‘seed’ from which supermassive ones would grow.
It is believed that at the center of every galaxy there is a supermassive omen. This finding of an “intermediate” hole can be explained only if that is its future. That is, if it is the origin of a super black hole. This would help to understand the origin of these giants. And also, to have a new alternative search for black holes.
Repeat discoveries like these are expected to confirm the theory. Apparently, central holes grow at the same rate as the galaxy. So do their supermassive ‘cousins’.
If that premise holds true for all of them, that would support the theory that galaxies grow by merging into each other. They would not originate from a single, gigantic cloud of cosmic dust. Upcoming telescopes, such as the James Webb telescope, will be able to target these ‘elusive’ black holes with higher resolution.