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Hubble’s Astonishing Discovery in Omega Centauri-Intermediate-Mass Black Hole Discovery

Intermediate-mass black holes are a long-sought “missing link” in black hole evolution. They are smaller than the supermassive black holes that lie at the cores of large galaxies, but larger than stellar-mass black holes formed by the collapse of massive stars. Only a few candidates have been found to date.

Now, a team of astronomers analyzed over 500 images from 20 years of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope observations to find evidence of an intermediate-mass black hole by tracking seven fast-moving stars in the Omega Centauri globular star cluster.

Scientists think a massive object is gravitationally pulling on the stars within Omega Centauri, keeping them close to its center. From the motions of the stars, they estimate it has a mass of at least 8,200 times that of our Sun, the mass range for an Intermediate-Mass Black Hole is between 100 and 100,000 solar masses, therefore the only object that can be so massive is a black hole.

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