Hubble Space Telescope Just Recorded Mass and Location of a Black Hole for the First Time Ever

The Hubble Space Telescope seems to be improving with age. How else can you explain the fact that it reveals knowledge that has been kept hidden even in the present day? 

The space observatory, which just completed 32 years in orbit, has attained a new historical landmark. For the first time in the history of human space research, the position and mass of a black hole inside our Milky Way Galaxy have been determined. 

And it gets more interesting as the detected black hole is of the "wandering" kind, indicating that it is moving across the galaxy. In fact, it's moving at a staggering 100,000 miles per hour! 

This is an uncommon occurrence, which made it possible to collect data about it. What precisely did Hubble discover, and what fresh insights does it bring about black holes? 

Find out by reading on.

Scientists have discovered through a recent study that the Milky Way is riddled with black holes.

Scientists have been able to detect them despite the fact that they are invisible to humans since they absorb all light rather than releasing it by monitoring their effect on neighboring stars. 

When a neighbouring star acts erratically, it frequently indicates the presence of a black hole. However, determining their position or magnitude is challenging due to the relative nature of the information discovered. 

This is where this traveling black hole introduced itself to the astronomy community as a special gift.

In general, black holes either gravitationally occupy the space surrounding the galactic centre or are found in binary systems with another star. However, this black hole seemed to be freely travelling across space. 

It was even discovered by mistake. Hubble had been studying the Carina-Sagittarius spiral arm of our galaxy when NASA spotted the movement of this black hole around 5,000 light years distant. 

“Black holes roaming our galaxy are born from rare, monstrous stars (less than one-thousandth of the galaxy’s stellar population) that are at least 20 times more massive than our Sun,” said NASA in a statement. “These stars explode as a supernova, and the remnant core is crushed by gravity into a black hole. Because the self-detonation is not perfectly symmetrical, the black hole may get a kick, and go careening through our galaxy like a blasted cannonball.” 

Even while Hubble cannot "see" black holes, it gathers information about them based on the influence of their gravitational field on surrounding stars. Due to the movement of this black hole, NASA was able to witness the same effect on a bigger number of stars. 

Using Astrometric microlensing, which can identify massive celestial objects, the data was gathered. The estimated mass of the black hole is between 1.6 and 4.4 times that of the Sun, according to the data. 

The study team has also calculated that it travels across the Milky Way galaxy at speeds exceeding 100,000 miles per hour.

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