Astronomers spot a super-rare class of black hole for the first time

“We were able to confirm that this came from a collision of two black holes,” Jani The individual black holes weighed roughly 85 and 65 times the mass of the sun, respectively.

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The identification of HLX-1 is therefore an important step towards a better understanding of the formation of the supermassive black holes that exist at the center of the Milky Way and other galaxies. “This is a milestone in modern astronomy and a personal milestone after six years of intensive research of hunting these elusive black holes,” Jani said. “The system we’ve discovered is so bizarre that it breaks a number of previous assumptions about how black holes form. ” He notes that the process for making an IMBH is 500 times more rare than that of either stellar or supermassive black holes — on par with the odds of intercepting a golf ball shot from Argentina in mid-flight with a second golf ball shot from China. “We have looked into every known scenario that would have created this black hole but don’t have a conclusive explanation for it just yet,” he concluded. “What we do know for certain is that whatever makes this intermediate-mass black hole is a much rarer process.

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