Supermassive Black Hole Ejected From Its Home Galaxy
The Chandra X-Ray Observatory announced that’s it has observed something unprcedented: a supermassive black hole being ejected from its own galaxy at speeds of millions of miles per hour. The evidence suggests that the ejection was caused, 4 billion years ago, when the black hole collided with the supermassive black hole of another galaxy, producing an immense recoil force.
“It’s hard to believe that a supermassive black hole weighing millions of times the mass of the sun could be moved at all, let alone kicked out of a galaxy at enormous speed,” said study leader Francesca Civano in a press release. “But these new data support the idea that gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of space first predicted by Albert Einstein but never detected directly — can exert an extremely powerful force.” One of the most fascinating – and potentially terrifying – things about this discovery is that it implies that there may be supermassive black holes moving through the universe outside of galaxies. And we currently have no way of knowing that they’re there.