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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

M31 Globular Cluster G1 harbors a Central Black Hole!

M31 Globular Cluster G1 harbors a Central Black Hole!
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Medium-size black holes actually do exist, according to the latest findings from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, but scientists had to look in some unexpected places to find them. The previously undiscovered black holes provide an important link that sheds light on the way in which black holes grow. Even more odd, these new black holes were found in the cores of glittering, 'beehive' swarms of stars called globular star clusters, which orbit our Milky Way and other galaxies. The globular cluster G1 aka Mayall II is located 130,000 light-years from M31 galactic core, and is the brightest globular cluster in the Local Group, having an apparent magnitude of 13.7. G1 is considered to have twice the mass of Omega Centauri. G1 harbors a central, intermediate-mass (∼ 2×104 M⊙) black hole. G1 black hole is about 20,000 times more massive than our Sun!
Credit: NASA/ESA and Michael Rich (UCLA)

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