A Restless Supermassive Black Hole discovered in a galaxy far, far away…

Scientists detected an unusual Supermassive black hole in the spiral galaxy SDSS J043703.67+245606.8, which is located 230 million light years away. The black hole, which was first detected in 2018, has a mass of 3 million solar masses. The surprising thing about this supermassive black hole is that it is moving at an estimated speed of 177,000 kilometers an hour, and astronomers have no idea why.

The astronomers published their findings in the Astrophysical Journal on 12th March 2021 in a paper titled- “A Restless Supermassive Black Hole in the Galaxy J0437+2456“.

Dr. Dominic Pesce, an astronomer at the Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and one of the authors of the paper said, “We don’t expect the majority of supermassive black holes to be moving; they’re usually content to just sit around, They’re just so heavy that it’s tough to get them going. Consider how much more difficult it is to kick a bowling ball into motion than it is to kick a soccer ball — realizing that in this case, the ‘bowling ball’ is several million times the mass of our Sun. That’s going to require a pretty mighty kick.”

Although astronomers don’t know exactly what set the black hole into motion, they have some ideas. Dr. Jim Condon, a radio astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory said,” “We may be observing the aftermath of two supermassive black holes merging. The result of such a merger can cause the newborn black hole to recoil, and we may be watching it in the act of recoiling or as it settles down again.”

Another possibility is that the Black Hole is a part of a binary system.

Dr. Dominic Pesce said, “Despite every expectation that they really ought to be out there in some abundance, scientists have had a hard time identifying clear examples of binary supermassive black holes What we could be seeing in J0437+2456 is one of the black holes in such a pair, with the other remaining hidden to our radio observations because of its lack of maser emission.”

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