Did a Galactic Smashup Kick Out a Supermassive Black Hole?
Near-infrared image of the dwarf galaxy Markarian 177 and what may be an ejected SMBH. Credit: W. M. Keck Observatory/M. Koss (ETH Zurich) et al.
Crazy things can happen when galaxies collide, as they sometimes do. Although individual stars rarely impact each other, the gravitational interactions between galaxies can pull enormous amounts of gas and dust into long streamers, spark the formation of new stars, and even kick objects out into intergalactic space altogether. This is what very well may have happened to SDSS1133, a suspected supermassive black hole found thousands of light-years away from its original home.
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