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Scientists discover one of the smallest supermassive black holes

Scientists have discovered one of the smallest supermassive black holes in the universe, nestled inside a spiral galaxy that would typically be deemed to be unable to support such an interstellar phenomenon.

Scientists have discovered one of the smallest supermassive black holes in the universe, nestled inside a spiral galaxy that would typically be deemed to be unable to support such an interstellar phenomenon.

 
The miniature supermassive black hole (yes, we know that is somewhat of a contradiction) has a mass that is 200,000 times larger than the sun, making it one of the smallest identified by scientists. To put it into perspective, supermassive black holes usually have a mass that is millions or billions of times larger than the sun.
 
The black hole was found in in the NGC 4178 galaxy, spotted initially in images taken from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and subsequently compared with data from Chandra and NASA to confirm the discovery.
 
 
The galaxy in question is 55 million light years from Earth and does not contain a concentration of stars in its centre, as many galaxies containing black holes usually do, given the black hole sucks in nearby matter. 
 
Scientists have identified four other galaxies that might have similar sized supermassive black holes, but they all appear to have a star concentration in the centre, which was previously believed to be a requirement for supermassive black holes to exist.
 
The findings were published in the October issue of The Astrophysical Journal.
 
Source: Phys.org

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