The Hubble Telescope has once again shown us something truly incredible. A black hole being followed by 200,000 light years of infant stars. Space.com has a video up where they explain what’s happening and possibly why.
“We think we’re seeing a wake behind the black hole where the gas cools and is able to form stars. So, we’re looking at star formation trailing the black hole,” Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University said. “What we’re seeing is the aftermath. Like the wake behind a ship, we’re seeing the wake behind the black hole. It didn’t look like anything we’ve seen before.”
One theory is that it was ejected from it’s place in the universe in a type of billiards crash where one object bumped into another and caused it to pummel forward. The gas in front of the black hole is suspected to be creating the large mass of infant stars behind it.
“As it travels, the cosmic runaway is piling up gas in front of it. When dense regions of gas like those left in the wake of this rogue black hole collapse, new stars are born,” Space.com reports. “A supermassive black hole cruising through clouds of gas would normally feed on it, a process called accretion. But this runaway cosmic monster is moving too fast to grab a bite.”
The supermassive black hole has a mass equivalent to 20 million of Earth’s suns and is traveling so fast that it would cover the distance between Earth and the moon in just 14 minutes. That’s of course if it was in our solar system which thank goodness it’s not.
It’s fun to learn about space but when it comes too close to home, that’s when we get movies made like “Armageddon.”