Engineering 101

Neighboring Galaxy Harbors Two Rare Structures

Just over 2,537 light-years away shines the Andromeda Galaxy. It is the closest large galaxy to us and has a bright bar structure at its center, making it a “barred spiral galaxy.”

Astronomers have found an intermediate-mass black hole hiding within star cluster B023-G078. 

Researchers have discovered many stellar-mass black holes, the remnants of a star’s collapse and measuring up to 100 times the size of our sun. They have also found numerous supermassive black holes, like the one at the center of the Milky Way. Their discovery is the first black hole measuring between the stellar-mass and supermassive black holes.

The team is also arguing to change the massive B023-G078 from a globular star cluster (a spherical collection of stars bound by gravity) to a stripped nucleus. This rare star cluster is the remnant of a small galaxy that lost an encounter with a larger one, and its outer stars are stripped away.

Read the team’s study, published on Jan 11 in The Astrophysical Journal, for more information.

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