(This spectacular edge-on galaxy, called ESO 243-49, is home to an intermediate-mass black hole that may have been stripped off of a cannibalized dwarf galaxy.CREDIT: NASA, ESA, and S. Farrell, Sydney Institute for Astronomy, University of Sydney)
“Like a fossil hinting at a long-gone animal, a black hole is offering clues about a now-destroyed galaxy that may once have existed around it.”
“The Hubble Space Telescope recently spied a cluster of young blue stars surrounding a rare mid-weight black hole that suggests the black hole was once at the center of a dwarf galaxy. Astronomers think this galaxy was torn apart by the gravity of a larger host galaxy that it orbited.”
“The violent encounter would have stripped away most of the dwarf galaxy’s stars, but it also could have compressed the gas around its central black hole, triggering a new wave of star formation. It is these new stars that Hubble recently saw signs of.”
Astronomy news, recent research results, and pretty pictures from the media along with context, commentary, and explanations for folks who dig this sort of thing. Written by a quasi-professional astronomer affiliated with the University of Texas at Austin.