AstroTalk Episode October 12, 2017

Solar Mass, Intermediate and Super-Massive Black Holes.

3:13pm - 3:38pm

Astronomers have spotted a super-massive black hole, 12 Billion light-years from us. The black hole weighs in at about 12 billion solar masses, so astronomers are puzzled how such a super massive black hole could have formed, only 1.3 billion years after the Big Bang. Astronomers have detected many solar mass black holes, and many super-massive black holes (millions or billions times the mass of the Sun), but apparently, very few, if any, intermediate black holes have been detected. How then could super-massive black holes have formed, given that there is a lack of a middle-men, or interrnediate sized black holes, that could have grouped together, or combined, to form the super-massive black holes.
In another black hole topic, a super-massive black hole is on the move. This black hole, 160 million times the mass of our Sun, and located 3.9 billion light years away in an elliptical galaxy. is moving. Speculation is that 2 black holes merged to formed this black hole, and the black hole was then kicked out, or was recoiled, by the gravitational waves coming from the collision. Since the amount of kick depends on the spin of the original black holes, properties of the original colliding black holes could be deduced. The strong x-rays emitted from this galaxy was the clue that led scientists to this moving monster. Strong x-ray can indicate that a black hole is growing rapidly. Other optical data led scientists to conclude that the black hole was moving away from the center of its galaxy, and that disturbances in the outer regions of the galaxy were signs of a recent merger of 2 galaxies, to make the present galaxy. The detection of a high rate of star formation was another clue of a recent merger between 2 separate galaxies. The findings are published in the paper, A Potential Recoiling Supermassive Black Hole CXO J101527.2+625911, and can be found on the internet at, 15:13:05 15:38:18