Astronomers using the U.S. space agency NASA’s orbiting Hubble telescope, as well as two orbiting x-ray observatories, say they have gathered the best evidence yet of a so-called “intermediate mass” black hole.A report published Tuesday in the Astrophysical Journal, and reported by NASA, explains that the so-called intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) are about 50,000 times the mass of our sun.
 
They are smaller than the supermassive black holes that lie at the cores of large galaxies, but larger than stellar-mass black holes formed by the collapse of a massive star. 
IMBHs are a long-sought “missing link” in black hole evolution. They have been particularly difficult to find because they are smaller and less active than supermassive black holes.  
 
University of New Hampshire astronomer Dacheng Lin—who published the report—tells NASA that he and his team essentially caught an IMBH in the act of gobbling up a star that came too close to its gravitational pull.
 
Lin said they used the Hubble to explore data collected from both NASA and the European Space Agency X-ray detection satellites to determine its precise location.
 
The researchers say finding this mid-size black hole means there could be others out there, and it raises questions as to whether they eventually grow into the supermassive size.
 

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