Space scientists have discovered a massive black hole moving through space, creating a trail of newborn stars that spans 200,000 light-years. The supermassive monster is the aftermath of a celestial menage-a-trois that led to an unstable and chaotic scene that eventually ejected one of the black holes at high speed. The black hole is now rampaging through the blackness and plowing into gas clouds in its path, which is then being forged into a contrail of new stars. The NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured images of the stars.
“We think we’re seeing a wake behind the black hole where the gas cools and is able to form stars,” said Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University. Researchers believe gas is probably being blasted and warmed by the motion of the black hole. The black hole weighs about the same as 20 million of our Suns.
The black hole is believed to have been ejected from the celestial menage-a-trois, which brought together two supermassive black holes that whirled around each other harmoniously. But a third galaxy joined in with its black hole, leading to an unstable scene that eventually ejected one of the black holes at high speed. The black hole is now far away and was discovered by accident while scanning through the Hubble image.
While this is the first runaway black hole ever spotted, NASA suggests that it might not be the only one. Their Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, expected to launch sometime this decade, could give astronomers a wider view of the universe and potentially lead to the discovery of more of these star-forming runaways. Stargazers say there is no cause for concern as this is all very far away, and we are seeing it now because of the time it has taken for light to arrive here.