Although Hubble space telescope is getting closer to the end of its lifecycle, the massive space eye managed to give scientists means for another huge discovery.
By using the Hubble space telescope NASA’s scientists managed to detect a supermassive black hole (those that can be found in the centers of spiral galaxies) being forced out of its parent galaxy. The discovery is very important since it shows that supermassive black holes don’t have to spend their entire life tied to the galaxy’s core.
Before Hubble recorded the event, scientists suspected that there are several black holes that got evicted from their parent galaxy’s core but didn’t have a strong enough proof to confirm their assumptions.
Also, their discovered that galaxies can create massive amounts of energy, equivalent to the energy of 100 supernovas. The energy is created 1 to 2 billion years ago when two massive black holes collided and fused. Gravitational waves created during the fusion eventually kicked out the newly formed black hole from the galaxy, and Hubble was lucky enough to record the event.
Gravitational waves are created when two large objects (such as two massive black holes) collide, and they travel through space in the same way waves travel through water after a stone get cast into the water. They existed only in theory until 2016, when the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected them having their origin from the merging of two massive black holes.
The black hole moved 35,000 light years from the galaxy core of its parent galaxy, called 3C 186. Not only that, but the black hole continues to move away from the galaxy at the speed of 7.5 million kilometers per hour.
Marco Chiaberge, team leader of the Space Telescope Science Institute said that “When I first saw this, I thought we were seeing something very peculiar.” The peculiar part was seeing a quasar (a visible signature of the black hole) so far off from the galaxy’s core. Quasars are always detected in the core of large galaxies, and their massive streams of energy originate from huge amounts of matter getting sucked by a black hole.