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Leo I's Unusually Massive Black Hole

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#1 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 01:16 AM

FORT DAVIS, Texas — Astronomers at The University of Texas at Austin’s McDonald Observatory have discovered an unusually massive black hole at the heart of one of the Milky Way’s dwarf satellite galaxies, called Leo I. Almost as massive as the black hole in our own galaxy, the finding could redefine our understanding of how all galaxies — the building blocks of the universe — evolve.

 

https://news.utexas....tellite-galaxy/



#2 Sleep Deprived

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 02:37 AM

I read the blurb that you linked.  Very interesting.  It has been theorized that there should be a fairly tight relationship between galaxy mass to central black hole mass, to within certain parameters, except for a few 'outliers' that should have an explanation as to why they are outliers.  I think, very generally, there is something to that theory - logically it makes sense, but....  We are finding (this study is a perfect example) all kinds of outliers.  With more precise studies, one must wonder what we will find.  Perhaps it simply indicates that the Universe is more active - galaxies stripping each other of stars and gas during close encounters may be more commonplace than once thought, or....  the link between galaxy mass and black hole mass isn't as 'tight' as we thought because our understanding of galaxy evolution needs a lot more work.  Or... who knows?  Either way, it means more work is needed --- opportunity abounds for students/scientists to contribute to our understanding of the universe.



#3 KiwiObserver

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 09:20 PM

Yea a very interesting finding. Leo I doesn't look to be compact enough to be the stripped nucleus of a larger galaxy (I think in this galaxy mass range, such stripped galaxies are observed as the Ultra-Compact dwarfs, which have smaller radii than this one, though maybe stripping and interactions can produce a more diffuse galaxy), and it looks like some previous work looking at it's star formation history also suggests it has always been a dwarf. So it appears that this SMBH was somehow able to form within a dwarf galaxy which is very interesting. 


Edited by KiwiObserver, 05 December 2021 - 09:25 PM.



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