Scientists classify black holes into two groups: the weaker black holes could swallow a sun, whereas an entire galaxy could succumb to the larger variety. However, an “intermediate-mass black hole” was discovered in a galaxy situated roughly 740 million light-years away from Earth.


According to a Nature report, black holes with the potential to incur a tidal disruption event (TDE) have previously been discovered.

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However, this middle-sized black hole irrefutably proves the celestial entities can exist in this tier size and reside along a galaxy’s outskirts. As this black hole assimilated a nearby star, part of the star’s material was emitted from the black hole while most of it was absorbed into it. In turn, the black hole’s matter increased in temperature greatly, creating an X-ray radiation flare. Each X-ray flare is unique to the star debris and black hole that birthed it.

Scientists detected this flare via three telescopes housed across NASA’s Swift Satellite, Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA’s XMM-Newton X-ray Observatory. The readings of the flare were discernibly weaker in the latter readings, helping determine that the flare decayed over the course of ten years. Moreover, this happenstance demonstrates that X-ray flares emitted from a TDE are an effective way to locate intermediate-mass black holes among star clusters.

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