Runaway Black Hole Leaves Behind A Trail Of Stars
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Black holes have incredibly powerful gravitational pulls. They usually gobble up everything around them. However, for the first time ever, scientists have found a black hole that is creating millions of stars as it zips through space.
Pieter Van Dokkum, a professor of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University, made the exciting discovery accidentally. He was looking for star clusters in an image captured by NASA's Hubble Telescope when he spotted a light trail.
"I was just scanning through the Hubble image, and then I noticed that we have a little streak. I immediately thought, 'oh, a cosmic ray hitting the camera detector and causing a linear imaging artifact.' When we eliminated cosmic rays, we realized it was still there. It didn't look like anything we've seen before," Dokkum explains.
Curious to know where the light trail was coming from, Dokkum and his team decided to investigate further. They used the powerful telescopes at Hawaii's Mauna Kea Observatory. To their astonishment, they discovered that the streak was from a 200,000-light-year-long chain of newborn stars. This is twice the diameter of our Milky Way galaxy.
The scientists say the stars are caused by a supermassive black hole racing through the gas clouds at an unbelievable speed. If it were in our solar system, the black hole, which weighs as much as 20 million Suns, could travel from Earth to the Moon in just 14 minutes. This is too fast for it to catch anything in its path. Instead, it is creating a string of new stars.
"We think we're seeing a wake behind the black hole where the gas cools and is able to form stars. So, we're looking at star formation trailing the black hole," Dokkum said.
The findings were revealed in the Astrophysical Journal Letters on April 6, 2023. The researchers believe there may be more runaway black holes waiting to be discovered. They plan to expand their search once the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope is launched sometime in 2027. The powerful Telescope is designed to image a sky area 100 times larger than the Hubble telescope.
Resources: NASA.gov, ABC.net.au
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- bunbunxinyi8 daysAt first, I thought Black Holes only pulled stars towards it; I didn't know they could CREATE stars. Cool.
- 123herobirne3 daysit might have stars in it then could not hold them in.
- mezagizi-1665676256048 dayswow so cool I never even knew there was such a thing as a black hole
- 101547838 daysSo cool the black hole is making new stars and it looks like tail
- pysavezi-1684357196199 daysVery cool stuff that a college student found out about a light streak made of 200,000 light year long chain or newborn stars amazing work
- wsg9 daysits cool though
- jaredtest9 dayswow
- japahozi-16843571961210 daysThanks for the infomation
- bovolaji-16843572037010 daysWOOOOOOW :0
- awesomeaustie15 dayslt does look very neat!
- djcooper1315 daysThat is the coolest thing ever