Bend the laws of physics? More like rewrite them.
Scientists all over the world are reconsidering what they previously thought about the laws that govern our physical universe. Laws of physics beware: there’s a black hole bigger than its galaxy – and it’s growing. Astrophysicists are, quite rightfully, scratching their heads and shrugging their shoulders.
Black holes are already known to be ginormous areas in space. They have a gravitational pull which is so strong, they can literally absorb light. If you didn’t guess it, that’s why they’re black. Supermassive black holes are those of them which are situated at the middle of galaxies. Galaxies like our own Milky Way, yet the size of the closest known black hole is relatively small compared to this plus-sized monster found in the galaxy CID-947.
The biggest contradiction this discovery brings to the known theories about black holes is that they don’t necessarily expand at the same rate. In this particular case, the black hole is growing much, much faster than starry sky that makes up its quite skinny galaxy.
The galaxy, and its corresponding black hole, was formed in the very early years of the universe. That’s the Big Bang plus two billion years. It may seem like a lot, but in universe-wise, that’s like a two-week old baby. An international study group made this surprise discovery while looking for average black holes in a mapping project for the supermassive black holes and how they grow or evolve across long periods of cosmic time.
Among the biggest black holes ever discovered, this one measures nearly 7 billion times the mass of our star. That’s especially fascinating since the galaxy around it is relatively normal, weighing just about as much as a typical galaxy.
Another breakthrough discovery that contradicts previous known facts was that there were still stars forming within the distant galaxy. The researchers thus maintain that it will continue to grow, despite its strangeness and the size of its black hole.
Scientific speculation has prompted those behind the discovery to say that it may be a predecessor of the more extreme and massive neighboring galaxies like NGC 1277, from the constellation Perseus, situated just two hundred and twenty light years away from our own.
The biggest thanks for this discovery, the scientists said, are to go to the Hawaii Observatory, W.M. Keck and to the Chandra COSMOS survey, both having aided them greatly. They especially mentioned MOSFIRE, the new infrared spectrometer from Keck.
Image source: nature.com