Those cosmic features, more than 100 times less significant than our galaxy, are one of the smallest galaxies noted to host massive black holes.
Artist's conception of a dwarf galaxy, its shape distorted, most likely by a past interaction with another galaxy, and a massive black hole in its outskirts (pullout).
According to the study, A New Sample of (Wandering) Massive Black Holes in Dwarf Galaxies from High Resolution Radio Observations, still awaiting peer review, published in pre-print a year ago, the astronomers unexpectedly came across black holes "wandering" in dwarf galaxies in the process. The researchers think many of these galaxies merged with another galaxy in the past as they explain in their paper, "The majority of the radio-detected BHs (black holes) are offset from the centre of the host galaxies with some systems showing signs of interactions/mergers". This is uncommon since most massive black holes are thought to occupy the central position, as in the case of larger galaxies.
So a team of scientists puzzling over the mystery identified 13 dwarf galaxies within a billion light year radius of the Earth that they say "almost certainly" harbor a black hole.
A confirmation of the existence of large "wandering" black holes in the periphery of the galaxies has arrived thanks to a new study conducted by researchers at Montana State University.
The scientists started by selecting a sample of galaxies from the NASA-Sloan Atlas, a catalog of galaxies made with visible-light telescopes.
At the same time, it has been learned that this study has been published in the Astrophysical Journal.
Reines and her collaborators used the VLA to discover the first massive black hole in a dwarf starburst galaxy in 2011.
Experts expect that the black holes in such small galaxies to have about 400,000 the mass of our Sun.
From the high-resolution images of 111 selected galaxies, the team found that 13 of them showed strong evidence for a massive black, as they were vociferously consuming their surrounding material - dust and gas. They preferred galaxies with stars totaling less than 3 billion times the volume of the Sun that was about equal to the Large Magellanic Cloud. If for the supermassive black holes, the ones at the center of the galaxies, the tonnage can be explained by the mergers between the galaxies themselves and then between the black holes, the same cannot apparently be said for these wandering black holes present in small galaxies.
These observations confirm the hypothesis from simulations that massive blackholes do not need to be located at the centre of dwarf galaxies.