Black holes are one of the biggest mysteries in the science and space communities, and now they’ve become even more mysterious.
In a miniscule galaxy named M60-UCD1 that is just .2% the size of the Milky Way a supermassive black hole was located by astronomers.
The black hole at the center of this galaxy is so large in fact that it accounts for 15% of the galaxy’s total mass. Which compared to the Milky Way’s black hole – which only accounts for a mere .01% of the entire galaxy’s mass – is an impressive figure.
Speculation is that at one time, the galaxy was significantly larger than it was – owning a more typical star-to-black-hole ratio. The galaxy consists of roughly 100 million stars currently, however as it continues to orbit another larger galaxy – M60-UCD1 has been eroded down and continues to erode further and further.
In fact, this discovery could shed light on other galaxies, and what might be lurking at the center of them. For a long time, smaller, dwarf-galaxies have been overlooked by scientists as potential places for black holes – even though it’s commonly known that most larger galaxy’s – like the Milky Way – do have black holes at the center of them.
As black holes have remained a large mystery in the science community, it’s become increasingly clear that the role they play in the creation, regulation, existence, and ultimately demise of varying galaxies is serious. While there may be extensive information to be gathered still, studying cases like this, allow scientists to see black holes, and how they behave in different circumstances.
Seeing how they interact in a smaller galaxies, as they are now, could potentially shed light on how they act in larger galaxies. “They’re part of the origin of us, and our universe. Every galaxy like ours has one of these, and we know that they affect how galaxies evolve and how stars form. If you want to understand how we got here, figuring out the role that black holes play is an important part of that.”
He reiterates that now, the mystery with black holes isn’t as much what they are, but more focused on why they are, where they are. Its one thing to understand what something is, but if you want to understand how it all began, then understanding where it started is absolutely crucial, as well as understanding where it goes over time.