Science News

Black Hole MQ1 Is Small But Powerful

MQ1 Black Hole Image

Astronomers have come across an unusual black hole which, while small, is incredibly powerful, as it is powered by two massive jets shooting out over 20 light years on either side of it, the International Business Times reported.

MQ1 is located within the M83 galaxy and was discovered by astronomers utilizing an array of advanced detection equipment including the Hubble space telescope, the Chandra X-ray observatory, the Australia telescope compact, the Magellan telescope, and the Very Large Array. With this equipment, they were able to determine that the previously believed to be large black hole was actually a small black hole.

The galaxy in which the black hole resides — M83, a barred spiral galaxy — is located over 15 million light years from our planet. The galaxy is in the constellation known as Hydra.

This particular black hole is believed to be a stellar-mass black hole, which NASA indicates are formed when:

[…] extremely massive stars collapse and typically weigh between 5-10 times the mass of the Sun.

The two powerful jets are shaping the surrounding environment and pay an important role in the evolution of a galaxy, as they may reduce star formation.

In other news, researchers are planning to use a telescope as big as the Earth in order to photograph a black hole. The idea of an Earth-sized telescope entails linking together telescopes around the planet in order to expand their virtual capabilities. If that’s not crazy enough, researchers observed a quasar–a large and luminous object which draw energy from black holes–dimming for the first time.

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