Recently the missing of supermassive black hole went missing which left scientists amused. One of the areas which are always interesting and amusing is space where there are abundant things to explore.
What is a Black Hole?
A black hole is a place in space where the gravitational force is so strong that no light can get out. When a star is dying it is likely to form as a black hole.
Since no light can get out from a black hole, these are invisible. Only with the aid of some additional tools to the space telescope can help us see the black hole. These tools actually, help us differentiate between a normal star and a star near to black hole.
Is it Big or Small?
There are different black holes and it can be small or big. Scientists think that the smallest black hole would have the size of a single atom but, they can weigh like a large mountain. Here what makes it weigh so much is its mass which is nothing but the amount of matter in an object.
“Stellar” is another kind of black hole where it can weigh more than 20 times the mass of the sun. Also, our galaxy might have many such stellar black holes.
The largest black holes are “Supermassive” where they can be massive than more than one million suns together. Scientists have discovered that these supermassive black holes are present at the center of every large galaxy. Even Our Milky way galaxy has one such supermassive black hole and it is called Sagittarius A. It has a mass more than the mass of four million suns put together.
How Did This Form?
Scientists believe that the smallest black hole originated when the universe began. Whenever the center of the big star falls on itself it becomes a stellar black hole. When this happens it is called a supernova.
Supermassive Blackhole Missing:
Scientists were baffled to notice that the supermassive black hole went missing which they have been looking at using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope. This black hole is massive than a hundred billion times of mass of the sun. So far, no evidence has been traced out where it went.
Where It Was?
This black hole initially was located in Abell 2261, an enormous galaxy cluster that is about 2.7 billion light-years away from our planet. This pretty big number and far away from our planet where one light-year means the distance that a beam of light takes to travel in one Earth year which is nine trillion km.
What Could Have Happened?
Scientists have been making use of the data gathered in 1999 and 2004 to look for the center of the Abell galaxy but in vain, they could not find it. One of the possible reasons for this according to a team at the University of Michigan in the US is that Abell’s black hole has been ejected from the center of the galaxy. There is also another possibility claimed by researchers based on 2018 data from NASA’s Chandra Observatory is that this might have happened because of the merging of two smaller galaxies to form Abell, this lead to a process in which both of their black holes merged to form an even bigger black hole.
Recoiling Black Holes:
When two black holes merge, they release a tremendous amount of gravitational waves which are invisible ripples traveling at the speed of light and can even squeeze and stretch anything in their path. According to gravitational wave theory, during such a merging process, when the amount of waves generated in one direction than the other, the new big black hole would be sent away from the center of the galaxy into the opposite direction. This process is known as recoiling and such a black hole is termed as a recoiling black hole.
This is just a theory formulated based on a possibility, scientists are yet to find a piece of solid evidence supporting this recoiling black holes. Also, the concept of whether supermassive black holes can merge and release gravitational waves has to be discovered. But as of now, only mergers of significantly smaller black holes have been verified.
No matter how deep we dive in, many concepts are just theoretical and much has to be explored and experimented which carries a limitation of the technology. Space is an arena where concepts are always mesmerizing and complicated.