Hubble discovers mysterious black hole which astronomers claim 'shouldn't exist'

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A mysterious black hole surrounded by a thin 'accretion' disk of gases and other cosmic debris that astronomers claim 'shouldn't exist' has been discovered at the heart of a spiral galaxy. 

NGC 3147, found around 130 million light-years away in the Draco constellation, was uncovered by scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope.

The supermassive black hole, which weighs roughly 250 million times more than the sun, shouldn't have a disk of matter surrounding it, according to Einstein's theories of relativity.

That's because NGC 3147's black hole is currently 'starving', due to a lack of material to feed on in the region, and starving black holes don't usually have an accretion disk around them, experts say.

Instead, light given off by the object at the centre of NGC 3147 mimics the behaviour of a supermassive black hole at the centres of much more active galaxies.

A mysterious black hole surrounded by a thin 'accretion' disk of gases and other cosmic debris that astronomers claim 'shouldn't exist' has been discovered at the heart of a spiral galaxy. Pictured: An artist's impression of the accretion disk swirling around the supermasive black hole

A mysterious black hole surrounded by a thin 'accretion' disk of gases and other cosmic debris that astronomers claim 'shouldn't exist' has been discovered at the heart of a spiral galaxy. Pictured: An artist's impression of the accretion disk swirling around the supermasive black hole

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT NGC 3147? 

Galaxy NGC 3147 galaxy is relatively close by, at a distance of roughly 130 million light-years. It can be found in the constellation of Draco, The Dragon. 

The graceful, winding arms of the majestic galaxy appear like a grand spiral staircase sweeping through space.  They are actually long lanes of young blue stars, pinkish nebulae, and dust in silhouette.

The of the galaxy belies the fact that at its very centre is a malnourished black hole.  It is surrounded by a thin, compact disk of stars, gas, and dust that have been caught up in a gravitational maelstrom.

The black hole's gravity is so intense that anything that ventures near it gets swept up in the disk.

The disk is so deeply embedded in the black hole's intense gravitational field that the light from the gas disk is modified, according to Einstein's theories of relativity.

This has provided astronomers with a unique glimpse at the dynamic processes at work close to a black hole.

An international team of researchers, including experts from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Johns Hopkins University, made the finding.

The disk of material circling the black hole offers a unique opportunity to test Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity. 

It is so deeply embedded in the black hole's intense gravitational field that the light emitted from the gas disk is modified, according to Einstein's theories of relativity.

This has provided astronomers with a unique glimpse at the dynamic processes at work close to a black hole, researchers say.

'This is an intriguing peek at a disc very close to a black hole, so close that the velocities and the intensity of the gravitational pull are affecting how we see the photons of light,' said the study's first author, Stefano Bianchi, of the University of Roma Tre in .

'The type of disc we see is a scaled-down quasar that we did not expect to exist.

'It's the same type of disc we see in objects that are 1000 or even 100 000 times more luminous. 

'The predictions of current models for very faint active galaxies clearly failed.' 

NGC 3147 (top down satellite image, pictured), found around 130 million light-years away in the Draco constellation, was uncovered by scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope.

The supermassive black hole (top down artist's impression), which weighs roughly 250 million times more than the sun, shouldn't have a disk of matter surrounding it, according to Einstein's theories of relativity

NGC 3147 (top down satellite image, left), found around 130 million light-years away in the Draco constellation, was uncovered by scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope. The supermassive black hole (top down artist's impression, right) shouldn't have a disk of matter surrounding it, according to Einstein's theories of relativity

NGC 3147's black hole (pictured, glowing at it's centre) is currently 'starving', due to a lack of material to feed on in the region, and starving black holes don't usually have an accretion disk around them, experts say

NGC 3147's black hole (pictured, glowing at it's centre) is currently 'starving', due to

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