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Medium-sized black holes to help us understand galaxy formation

The Intermediate Mass Black Hole HLX-1 is surrounded by a very young massive cluster of stars, researchers from the University of Sydney have found, which could shed light on the formation of supermassive black holes and of galaxies themselves.

In a follow-up to earlier research in which they discovered HLX-1, the research team used NASA’s Hubble and Swift telescopes to identify the stars. The finding suggests that the black hole originated as the central black hole of a dwarf galaxy which has been swallowed up by a much more massive galaxy.

This may give a clue to the formation of supermassive black holes. Dr Sean Farrell, head of the research team, described Intermediate Mass Black Holes as “a crucial missing link” between stellar-size and supermassive black holes.

Read more at University of Sydney

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