Intermediate-mass black holes scatter their food

Intermediate-mass black holes remain hidden from us. However, if they exist, then they regularly eat stars, and at the same time scatter their remnants throughout the galaxy. Scientists hope to see traces of this activity.

The remnant of a star that is being eaten by a black hole. Source:

Sloppy Space Eaters

Scientists continue to search for intermediate-mass black holes. There should be a lot of these objects in different galaxies, but scientists have found only a few of them. In a new study, astrophysicists have modeled the interaction of such an object with stars in the galaxy in which it is located.

It turns out that a black hole of intermediate mass, when approaching a star the size of the Sun, captures it with its power and begins to “eat” it. At each maximum approach, it tears off a piece from the luminary, which it subsequently absorbs.

But quite often a black hole of intermediate mass does not finish the star to the end. When only a deformed core remains of the luminary, the space monster can simply throw it out at high speed through the entire galaxy. 

Eating a star by a black hole

How to find intermediate-mass black holes

This behavior of black holes is interesting not only by itself, but also because it allows us to find these elusive monsters. They occupy an intermediate position between objects of stellar mass, which are formed by the collapse of luminaries and supermassive colossi in the centers of galaxies.

Despite the fact that the transformation of the former into the latter suggests that there must be millions of intermediate-mass black holes, so far scientists have found only a few of them. One explanation for this paradox is that they simply do not interact with the stars and therefore are not so noticeable.

Therefore, the assumption that they may be unscrupulous eaters may help to finally find them. By studying hyperspeed stars existing in the centers of galaxies, scientists are quite capable of finding among them those that have not milked intermediate-mass black holes.

According to

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