A supermassive black hole is speeding through space
A supermassive black hole is racing across the universe at 110,000 mph (177,000 km/h), and the astronomers who spotted it don’t know why.
The fast-moving black hole, which is roughly 3 million times heavier than our sun, is zipping through the center of the galaxy J0437+2456, about 230 million light-years away.
Scientists have long theorized that black holes could move, but such movement is rare because their giant mass requires an equally enormous force to get them going.
“We don’t expect the majority of supermassive black holes to be moving; they’re usually content to just sit around,” Dominic Pesce, study leader and astronomer at the Harvard and Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said in a statement.
To begin their search for this infrequent cosmic occurrence, the researchers compared the velocities of 10 supermassive black holes with the galaxies they formed the centre of , focusing on the black holes with water inside their accretion disks — the spiral-shaped collections of cosmic material in orbit around the black holes.