Originally posted on Science Post:
Astronomers have accurately measured – and thus confirmed the existence of – a rare intermediate-mass black hole about 400 times the mass of our sun in a galaxy 12 million light years from the Milky Way. The finding uses a technique never applied in this way before, and opens the door to new studies of these mysterious objects.
This image of the galaxy Messier 82 is a composite of data from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope. The intermediate-mass black hole M82 X-1 is the brightest object in the inset, at approximately 2 o’clock near the galaxy’s center.
Credit: NASA/H. Feng et al.
But scattered across the universe like oases in a desert are a few apparent black holes of a more mysterious type. Ranging from a hundred times to a few hundred thousand times the sun’s mass, these intermediate-mass black holes are…
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