Super massive black holes are normally located in the center of larger galaxies. However astronomers have detected a super massive black hole in the center of a tiny galaxy where it should not be present.
The ultra compact dwarf galaxy M60-UCD1 has in its midst a super massive black hole. The M60-UCD1 is the smallest and least massive galaxy known to contain such a enormous black hole and is the first concrete evidence for how ultra compact dwarf galaxies form.
M60-UCD1’s black hole is particularly striking given the galaxy’s tiny size. The black hole makes up almost 15 percent of the galaxy’s total mass. The black hole in our Milky Way makes up only a tiny fraction of the total mass of the galaxy. Most galaxies follow the Milky Way’s pattern, although exceptions exist.
The tiny dwarf galaxy M60-UDC1 is only 300 light-years across which small by cosmic standards. It is located in the Virgo Cluster, about 54 million light-years from Earth. However it contains a black hole which is 5 times more gigantic than the black hole which is located in the Milky Way’s center.
Compact galaxies have often baffled astronomers since their discovery ten years ago. There are two schools of thoughts which explain the formation of these Ultracompact galaxies- either they were extraordinarily enormous star clusters, or they were the leftovers of bigger galaxies that had been stripped down to their cores by the enormous gravitational pull of colossal neighbors.
This study has for the first time provided observational proof for the stripped-down theory by revealing the presence of massive black holes in the center of these ultracompact galaxies.
Supermassive black holes have huge masses sometimes millions of times the mass of the sun and are often situated in the center of large galaxies. The black hole sitting in the midst of M60-UCD1 has 21 million times the mass of the sun and it is remarkably massive. It is five times more massive than the Milky Way black hole. This is more remarkable because the M60-UCD1 is 500 times smaller and a thousand times less massive than the Milky Way.