Researchers have discovered a black hole with 200,000 times the mass of the Sun in Mrk 462, a dwarf galaxy with just a few hundred million stars, using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. Our Milky Way has a few hundred billion stars in contrast. In the Mrk 462 galaxy, 110 million light-years distant in the constellation of Canes Venatici, the black hole was densely shrouded in gas and dust.
It’s one of the first times a “obscured” supermassive black hole has been discovered in a dwarf galaxy, NASA stated in a blog post. Astronomers seek for fast movements of stars in the center of galaxies to discover black holes. However, most contemporary detectors are unable to identify dwarf galaxies because they are too tiny and faint. The hunt for traces of gas heating up to millions of degrees and blazing in X-rays as it descends into a black hole is a second method used by astronomers to discover black holes.
The black hole in Mrk 462 was among the tiniest of its kind, according to Jack Parker of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, who conducted the investigation alongside Dartmouth colleague Ryan Hickox.
Because hidden black holes are more difficult to detect than uncovered black holes, Hickox believes that this discovery might point to the existence of many additional dwarf galaxies containing comparable black holes. He went on to say that this discovery might assist astronomers figure out how black holes grew to be so massive so early in the cosmos.
Chandra was utilized by the researchers in this study to examine eight dwarf galaxies that had previously exhibited signs of black hole development. Mrk 462 was the only one that had the X-ray hallmark of a developing black hole.