A Supermassive Black Hole Hurtling Through Space

Black holes are some of the most fascinating and astonishing objects in the universe. They’re extremely dense, with such strong gravitational field that even light cannot escape them. What if we tell you that there is a blackhole that is hurtling through space at 110,000 mph. Seems unbelievable, right? Well scientists have discovered a blackhole that is speeding through speed at such a great speed. So just sit back and relax and watch the video till the end, to learn some mind-boggling things about this new discovery made by scientists. Supermassive blackholes are one of the most provoking and challenging astronomical objects in the universe. Not much is known about them except that they are huge and present at the center of every galaxy. They are some of the most extreme systems in the universe, and to date, we have no good explanation for their existence. Their formation in the early universe is a very compelling question that scientists look to answer. The first billion years of the universe were chaotic. It is though that the first black holes were formed by the collapse of the first stars and must have grown very fast to reach a billion solar masses. But a lot is yet to be discovered about these enormous objects in the universe. We know that everything in space is moving. But astronomers have always wondered if it were possible for a supermassive blackhole- the massive structures present at the center of every galaxy- to move relative to their host galaxies. Until now, astronomers were not sure. Such movement would be tough for massive objects like supermassive black holes, which can outweigh our sun by millions of times. Now a recent study by astronomers points to a very convincing case of a supermassive blackhole on the move. The mass of the blackhole is three times the mass of sun and is zipping through the center of galaxy, J0437+2456, which is located at a distance of about 70 Mpc. The movement of supermassive blackhole is rare because their enormous mass requires an equally enormous force to get them moving. Take an example of how difficult it is to kick a bowling ball into motion than it is to kick a soccer ball. So, in this case, the bowling ball is several million times the mass of our sun and will require a pretty mighty kick. The research paper of the discovery, published on the Astrophysical Journal, states, “Deep observations of the Galaxy J0437+2456, with Arecibo observatory have detected neutral hydrogen emission, from which the velocity of the galaxy was found to be 4910 km/s. Also, the observations of the Galactic nucleus with the Gemini North telescope show a central velocity of 4860 km/s of the innermost radii. The two measurements also differ significantly from one another, and the galaxy as a whole exhibits a complex velocity structure that implies that the system has recently been dynamically disturbed”. These statements clearly tell us that the supermassive blackhole at the center of the galaxy is not at rest and is hurtling through space. In a statement by Dominic Pesce, a study leader and astronomer at the Harvard and Smithsonian Center for astrophysics, he stated that scientists don’t expect a lot of supermassive blackholes to be moving, they’re usually believed to just sit around. Scientist have long theorized that blackholes could move. To begin their search for this rare occurrence, the researchers compared the velocities of 10 supermassive blackholes with galaxies they were at the center of, mainly focusing on the blackholes with water inside their accretion disks– a flattened band of spinning matter around the event horizon of a blackhole. But you might ask a question, Why Water? The answer is quite subtle. As water present in the accretion disk orbits a blackhole, it collides with other material, and the electrons surrounding the oxygen and hydrogen atoms that make up water molecules get excited to higher energy levels. When these electron beam of laser-like microwave radiation called a maser. Now with the help of Red-shift, the wavelength of the light is stretched, so the light is seen as ‘shifted’ towards the red part of the spectrum (Something identical happens to sound waves when a source of sound moves relative to an observer). The astronomers were able to observe the extent to which the light of the maser from the accretion disk was shifted away from its known frequency, and hence were able to calculate the speed of the moving blackhole. The astronomers then took more observations from various telescopes and combined them all using a method called very long baseline interferometry or VLBI. With the help of this technique, the scientists were able to combine the images from several telescopes to effectively act like an image captured by a very large telescope, about the size of the distance between them. In this way, scientists were able to measure the precise velocity of the blackhole. For five years, Dominic Pesce and his colleagues have been studying and comparing the motions of 10 galaxies and of the supermassive blackholes present at their centers. Usually, these supermassive blackholes are expected to have the same velocities as the galaxies they are in, but if they don’t, this implies that they have been disturbed. Of all the 10 galaxies they observed, 9 of them were resting within their respective galaxies, but one was on the move. What could have caused the disturbance of the supermassive blackhole inside the galaxy J0437+2456, enough to set it hurtling through space? Why this supermassive blackhole of this distant galaxy moving? The researchers don’t know what could have made such a heavy object move at such a high speed, but they came up with a few possibilities. In a statement by Jim Condon, a radio astronomer at the national radio astronomy observer, he said that. “We may be observing the aftermath of two supermassive blackholes merging. The result of such a merger can cause the Newborn blackhole to recoil, and we may be in fact watching an act of recoiling as it settles down again”. Earlier in April 2019, Gravitational waves from a Collison between two blackholes were detected at the gravitational wave observatory LIGO (United States) and the detector Virgo (Italy). This was one of the major breakthroughs in astronomy. The other possibility is considered by astronomers to be much rarer in our universe: The supermassive blackhole may be part of a pair with another blackhole that’s invisible to their observations and measurements. Scientists have always expected that binary blackholes might be out there in some abundance, but have had a hard time observing and identifying clear examples of binary supermassive blackholes. According to Pesce, “we might be seeing a binary blackhole pair in galaxy J0437+2456, with the other blackhole that is hidden to our radio observations because of its lack of maser emission”. It is possible that this blackhole is being tugged by an even bigger blackhole that is invisible to us and this might explain why its traveling so fast. And there’s a third possibility. The supermassive blackhole could come from another galaxy that is in the process of merging with J0437+2456. So, the galaxy J0437+2456 might not be the black hole’s home galaxy even though we see it in J0437+2456 right now. So, more observations will be necessary to get to the bottom of the mystery and figure what’s going on. But the bottom line is that astronomers have discovered a black hole that is moving within its host galaxy. We might see more research on this discovery in the future so stay tuned. So, what do you guys think about this discovery? Do u know the difference between a stellar blackhole and supermassive blackhole. Let us know us views and answers in the comment section. And don’t forget to like the video and subscribe to our channel and press the bell notification to stay tuned for more videos in astronomy.

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