Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have found the best evidence of the existence of a “medium-mass” black hole,media slash Gear reported. Scientists believe the elusive black hole has exposed itself after tearing a star too close. Scientists say medium-mass black holes are about 50,000 times the mass of our sun.
While this is certainly huge, it is much smaller than a supermassive black hole with a mass of millions or billions of solar masses. Supermassive black holes are usually located at the heart of large galaxies. Scientists have long been looking for a medium-mass black hole that is thought to be a “missing link” in its evolution.
Scientists believe the new Hubble discovery is the most convincing evidence yet of black holes in the universe. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists used the Hubble Space Telescope to track clues from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA’s XMM-Newton X-ray Observatory. In 2006, the Observatory discovered powerful X-ray flares, but could not determine whether they came from inside or outside the Milky Way.
At the time, researchers attributed the X-ray flare to a star tearing too close to gravitationally powerful objects, such as black holes. Surprisingly for the team, the X-ray source 3XMM J215022.4-055108 is not at the center of the Milky Way, which typically has a large number of black holes. The site raises hopes that they may have discovered a medium-mass black hole.
Hubble later pointed out the source to analyze the exact location, and eventually found that the source was not in our galaxy. Instead, it is located in a distant cluster of dense stars on the outskirts of another galaxy. Scientists say this is exactly where they expect to find a medium-mass black hole. The team is conducting other research to see if a medium-mass black hole can develop into a supermassive black hole and solve other mysteries.