A ‘Naked’ Black Hole Is Ripping Through The Universe At Over 1,200 Miles A Second


Black holes aren’t noted for their movement. They generally just sit there, sucking in matter, farting out Hawking particles, and annoying physicists by refusing to behave exactly the way they’re supposed to. But one black hole is really misbehaving, in the sense that it’s completely naked and whipping through the universe like a gravitational streaker on God’s own baseball diamond.

To understand what we mean by “naked,” most supermassive black holes sit at the center of galaxies, including our own. When galaxies collide, generally, the two black holes do-si-do around each other before merging into a bigger black hole. That did not happen to B3 1715+425; instead, it was ejected from its galaxy, located two billion light years away from Earth, and is booking it out of the universe at over 1200 miles per second, crushing everything in its path. Anybody who uses this as a metaphor for their dating lives will answer to the astronomers.

Joking aside, this is interesting not least because it can’t be a unique phenomenon. In fact this might happen far more often than the cheerful union of the two supermassives, and that would have some interesting implications for the formation of the universe. Of course, it also might mean we have a naked black hole screaming towards us right this second and probably wouldn’t notice until it was far too late. Sleep tight!

(Via Gizmodo)