Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users take on 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to fight ALS

Read more

ENCORE!

From Paris's Liberation to 'arresting' art in Avignon

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Ferguson riots: Pressure mounts on Obama

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The pen is mightier than the sword'

Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Turkey’s Erdogan names foreign minister Davutoglu as next PM

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Former Femen activist detained after fighting veiled woman

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

New class of black hole identified

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-01

Astronomers have identified an intermediate class of black hole on the fringe of the galaxy ESO 243-249 with a mass 500 times greater than the sun. The discovery could help illuminate the existence of supermassive black holes.

AFP - Astronomers on Wednesday said they had identified an intermediate class of black hole that could explain how supermassive, light-sucking monsters develop in the heart of galaxies.
   
Their find -- a black hole more than 500 times the mass of the Sun, on the fringe of galaxy ESO 243-249 -- is reported in the latest issue of Nature, the British-based science journal.
   
In terms of size, it lies between supermassive black holes, which can be billions of times the mass of the Sun, and relative tiddlers, which are between three and 20 solar masses.
   
Black holes are among the most powerful forces in the Universe. They are concentrated fields of gravity which are so powerful that nothing, not even light, can escape them.
   
Stellar-mass black holes are believed to have been created from the death throes of massive stars.
   
But there is less consensus over how supermassive black holes, which lurk in the centre of galaxies, including the Milky Way, are formed.
   
"One theory is supermassive black holes may be formed by the merger of a number of intermediate-mass black holes," said lead author Sean Farrell, an astrophysicist at Britain's University of Leicester.
   
"To ratify such a theory, however, you must first prove the existence of intermediate black holes."
   
As black holes do not emit light, the existence and size of the intermediate black hole was detected thanks to its "ultra-luminous" X-ray emissions, spotted by Europe's XMM-Newton orbital telescope.
 

Date created : 2009-07-01

COMMENT(S)