Team from the Astrophysical Center Harvard and the Smithsonian I was able to identify the clearest case so far from A. The supermassive black hole is in motion. While the scientific community has long assumed that supermassive black holes can roam in space, they have always been difficult to capture in action.
We wouldn’t expect most supermassive black holes to move. In general, they are content to sit down, “says Dominic Basic, the astronomer who led a study Published in the Astrophysical Journal.
Pesce and his team have worked for the past five years with the goal of observing this rare event. To do this, they dedicated themselves to comparing the velocities of supermassive black holes with galaxies.
We ask ourselves: Are the velocities of black holes the same as the speeds of the galaxies in which they are located? Hopefully, they’ll have the same speed. If this is not the case, then the black hole has undergone turbulence. “
The team began by examining ten distant galaxies and supermassive black holes in their nuclei, then specifically studying black holes that contain water inside their accretion disks. These disks are the spiral structures that rotate in a black hole.
When water orbits the black hole, it produces a laser-like beam of radio light known as a maser. When studied with a combined array of radio antennas using a technique known as very long fundamental interferometry (VLBI), catchers can be used to very precisely measure the velocity of the black hole.
This technology helped the team determine that nine of the 10 supermassive black holes were in a resting state, even though one of them had protruded and appeared to be in motion. This black hole is located 230 million light-years from Earth, at the center of a galaxy called J0437 + 2456, and its mass is roughly three million times the mass of our sun.
The scientific team was able to confirm their initial findings thanks to a series of studies conducted at the Arecibo and Gemini observatories. The supermassive black hole is moving at about 177,000 kilometers per hour inside the galaxy J0437 + 2456.
However, the cause of the movement remains unknown, so the team suspected two possibilities.
We might consider the consequences of the merging of two super black holes. The result of this merger could cause the nascent black hole to recede, and we may observe it while retreating or as it stabilizes again, says Jim Condon, a radio astronomer at the National Astronomical Observatory and a co-author of the study.
Another possibility is that a black hole could be part of a binary system. “Despite all expectations that black holes should exist in abundance, scientists have struggled to identify clear examples of supermassive black holes,” Piesky says.
“What we can see in the galaxy J0437 + 2456 is one of the black holes in this pair, and the other is still hidden from our radio observations due to its lack of maser emission,” he highlights and then concludes that, in the end for example, more will be needed Observations to determine the true cause of the unusual motion of this supermassive black hole.