Black holes are the monsters in the universe where if anything falls, it never comes back. They can be a few more times massive than our Sun, to a millions and billions more times. The common knowledge up to this point was that small galaxies don’t have such large black holes. In order for a supermassive black hole to be created, two galaxies would merge together. However, now research shows that black holes are found in dwarf galaxies.
The astrophysicists at NASA have published their newest findings of hundreds of gigantic black holes found in dwarf galaxies. Most astronomers did not expect these results, but the universe can always be bringing new surprises. Their first question with no answer yet was how such a supermassive black hole can grow in such a small galaxy? Researchers are working on a clue, by using the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) to come up with the beautiful photography of many galaxies while doing observations. To this point, they know that these galaxies haven’t gone under much change since the early universe, which means they are giving information about it. They are also having supermassive black holes, between a 1,000 and 10,000 more times massive than the Sun, which is much larger expected than normal in these types of galaxies.
Shobita Satyapal from George Mason University said that the seeds of the supermassive black holes are very massive by themselves. She is the lead author of the scientific paper published in the March issue of the Astrophysics Journal.
Another astrophycisist who is specializing in black holes is Daniel Stern from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Even though he is not part of the team, he commented that WISE’s job is to scout for interesting objects that stand out from the crowd, such as these.
Researchers are not sure if the black holes are big due to the feeding off the gas and dust from the galaxy. It will take much more research to do that. Satyapal believes that the supermassive black holes are telling the story of the early universe – they were created before the galaxies began colliding with each other.
They had the honor to capture some very interesting objects during the study. A rare sight is the two dwarf galaxies with supermassive black holes ‘dancing’ around each other like dance partners. Other galaxies were seen in miraculous colors through WISE, pointing to their core, the black holes. These galaxies were cannibalizing each other’s objects, and will merge together into a supermassive black hole. They also have a numerous images of stars, nebulas and other deep space objects.
Mother Nature Network said that WISE was launched in the Earth’s orbit in 2009, but it was deactivated in February 2011 due to a finished 10-month mission of capturing objects with infrared light. It was reactivated in 2013 with a new name NEOWISE, as a spacecraft hunting for objects that might be a potential danger for the Earth.
Researchers commented that they would do a follow up study, hoping their will solve the mystery why the black hole monsters are in dwarf galaxies. There are still a lot of questions arising, and the answers are somewhere out there, waiting to be found.
By Marija Makeska