In the centre of each galaxy is a large black hole, but recently astronomers are on the look-out as a black hole is missing from a huge galaxy called Abell 2261.

Huge Galaxy's Black Hole is Missing

On the 10th of September, some scientists looked through the Hubble Space Telescope, pointing it at Abell 2261, where they were dumbfounded when no black hole appeared.

This supermassive black hole should have the approximate size of 100 billion times ours suns mass, it’s size meant to correlate with that of a galactic system. Abell 2261 is located 2.7 billion light-years away from us and is around 20 times the diameter of the milky way.

So far x-ray observations from NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory along with the Hubble Space Telescope have come up empty, meaning this black hole is still missing.

Huge Galaxy’s Black Hole is Missing
Huge Galaxy’s Black Hole is Missing

Black holes are not able to be observed directly because on a black background, they are quite naturally, invisible. More than this, their enough gravity well means that none of the light spectrum can escape.

So how do we see black holes? Astronomers don’t actually look for black holes, they look for their influence on the objects around them, gravities influence on orbits and movements. 

Additionally scientists can look for the light coming from behind black holes, much of it will end up in the black hole, but some will travel around the enormous gravity well, bending and distorting as it sling shots on its way towards us.

These effects can be detected and allow us to know where black holes exist or determine where they are not, in this case, a black hole is not were we would expect it to be, and it has scientists baffled. 

More articles that include the Hubble Space Telescope.

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