Every galaxy may have a supermassive black hole • Earth.com

Every galaxy may have a supermassive black hole

04-15-2021


Every galaxy may have a supermassive black hole Today’s Video of the Day from NASA Goddard describes one of the most incredible accomplishments of the Hubble Space Telescope was the confirmation that galaxies contain supermassive black holes in their core. 

Scientists have believed this was a possibility for decades, but black holes do not allow light to escape and this means that they are not visible.

Since Hubble cannot observe black holes directly, it instead captures the effects they have on the material that surrounds them. 

Data collected by the telescope has produced evidence to suggest that most – or possibly even all – galaxies have a supermassive black hole in the center. Black holes of stellar mass form when very massive stars collapse at the end of their life cycle. Once a black hole has formed, it can continue to grow by absorbing mass from its surroundings.

Therefore by the absorption of other stars and merging with other black holes, supermassive black holes of millions of solar masses may form. There is consensus that supermassive black holes exist in the centers of most galaxies.If there are other stars orbiting a black hole, their orbits can be used to determine the black hole’s mass and location. Such observations can be used to exclude possible alternatives such as neutron stars

Video Credit: NASA Goddard 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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