National Radio Astronomy Observatory | VLA | 2020 Jan 05
Roughly half of the newly-discovered black holes are not at the centers of their galaxies
Astronomers seeking to learn about the mechanisms that formed massive black holes in the early history of the Universe have gained important new clues with the discovery of 13 such black holes in dwarf galaxies less than a billion light-years from Earth.
- Artist's conception of a dwarf galaxy, its shape distorted, most likely by a past interaction with another galaxy, and a massive black hole in its outskirts (pullout). The black hole is drawing in material that forms a rotating disk and generates jets of material propelled outward. Credit: Sophia Dagnello, NRAO/AUI/NSF
These dwarf galaxies, more than 100 times less massive than our own Milky Way, are among the smallest galaxies known to host massive black holes. The scientists expect that the black holes in these smaller galaxies average about 400,000 times the mass of our Sun. ...
The scientists started by selecting a sample of galaxies from the NASA-Sloan Atlas, a catalog of galaxies made with visible-light telescopes. They chose galaxies with stars totalling less than 3 billion times the mass of the Sun, about equal to the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small companion of the Milky Way. From this sample, they picked candidates that also appeared in the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Faint Images of the Radio Sky at Twenty centimeters (FIRST) survey, made between 1993 and 2011.
They then used the VLA to make new and more sensitive, high-resolution images of 111 of the selected galaxies. ...
A New Sample of (Wandering) Massive Black Holes in Dwarf Galaxies
from High Resolution Radio Observations ~ Amy Reines et al