noaoann08009 — Announcement
Spectacular Star Cluster May Host Black Hole Missing Link
9 April 2008
The well-known naked-eye star cluster Omega Centauri may be home to an elusive intermediate-mass black hole, according to observations made with the Gemini Multi-object Spectrograph (GMOS) at Gemini South in Chile and the Hubble Space Telescope. A new study by astronomers Eva Noyola (Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics) and Karl Gebhardt (University of Texas, Austin) found non-luminous matter at the center of Omega Centauri with roughly 40,000 times the mass of the Sun. This result could lead to an understanding of how such intermediate black holes might evolve into the larger supermassive ones found at the cores of many galaxies; it also suggests that Omega Centauri may once have been a dwarf galaxy.
- For more, see the Gemini Observatory Web site.