New superpowered black hole discovered in nearby galaxy
A team of astronomers from Australia and America have found a new superpowered small black hole, named MQ1, in nearby galaxy M83.
It is the first object of its kind to be studied in this much detail.
Astronomers have found a few compact objects that are as powerful as MQ1, but have not been able to work out the size of the black hole contained within them until now.
The team observed the MQ1 system with multiple telescopes and discovered that it is a standard-sized small black hole, rather than a slightly bigger version that was theorized to account for all its power.
Curtin University senior research fellow Dr. Roberto Soria, who is part of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) and led the team investigating MQ1, said it was important to understand how stars were formed, how they evolved and how they died, within a spiral shaped galaxy like M83.
"MQ1 is classed as a microquasar -- a black hole surrounded by a bubble of hot gas, which is heated by two jets just outside the black hole, powerfully shooting out energy in opposite directions, acting like cosmic sandblasters pushing out on the surrounding gas," Dr. Soria said.
"The significance of the huge jet power measured for MQ1 goes beyond this particular galaxy: it helps astronomers understand and quantify the strong effect that black hole jets have on the surrounding gas, which gets heated and swept away.
(Posted on 01-03-2014)