According to NASA, a runaway black hole is tearing across space, leaving a never-before-seen trail of stars in its wake. The supermassive black hole, which weighs as much as 20 million suns, could travel from Earth to the Moon in 14 minutes if it were in our solar system.
It has left a 200,000 light-year-long and twice-the-size of our Milky Way galaxy trail of brand-new stars in its wake.
The phenomenon was accidentally recorded by the NASA Hubble Telescope, and the scientist who discovered the finding called it “pure serendipity.”
“The column, which extends back to its parent galaxy, has the black hole at one end. At the very end of the column, there is a strikingly brilliant knot of ionised oxygen, according to a statement from NASA.
Pieter van Dokkum, a Yale University professor, remarked, “It didn’t look like anything we’ve seen before.”
He described the star trail as “quite astonishing, very, very bright, and very unusual,” likening it to a ship’s wake.
As a result, he came to the conclusion that what he was witnessing was the leftovers of a black hole that had pierced the gas ring surrounding the host galaxy.
Researchers believe that the stars are produced as a result of the black hole’s collision with the gas in front of it.
The supermassive black hole was most likely created by three black holes colliding with one another. Scientists speculate that two black holes may have combined 50 million years ago, before another galaxy linked with its own black hole.
Then, with two black holes moving in one direction and one black hole moving in the opposite, one of the black holes was evicted from its home galaxy.
Additional observations will be made by researchers to verify this notion.