Home > Science/Astronomy > Belching Black Hole Proves a Biggie: First Known ‘Middleweight’ Black Hole

Belching Black Hole Proves a Biggie: First Known ‘Middleweight’ Black Hole

July 10, 2012

  • ScienceDaily (July 9, 2012) — Observations with CSIRO’s Australia Telescope Compact Array have confirmed that astronomers have found the first known “middleweight” black hole.

Galaxy ESO 243-49, about 300 million light-years away, is home to the newly found black hole. An arrow shows the location of the black hole HLX-1 in the galaxy ESO 243-49. (Credit: NASA, ESA and S. Farrell (U. Sydney))
 

Outbursts of super-hot gas observed with a CSIRO radio telescope have clinched the identity of the first known “middleweight” black hole, Science Express reports.

Called HLX-1 (“hyper-luminous X-ray source 1”), the black hole lies in a galaxy called ESO 243-49, about 300 million light-years away.

Before it was found, astronomers had good evidence for only supermassive black holes — ones a million to a billion times the mass of the Sun — and “stellar mass” ones, three to thirty times the mass of the Sun.

“This is the first object that we’re really sure is an intermediate-mass black hole,” said Dr Sean Farrell, an ARC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Sydney and a member of the research team, which included astronomers from France, Australia, the UK and the USA.

Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120709102720.htm

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