Scientists have discovered two tiny galaxies, each just a fraction of the size of the Milky Way, with supermassive black holes at the center.
While the supermassive black hole in our own galaxy has a mass of about 4 million suns, the newly spotted phenomena are even larger, at masses of about 4.4 million and 5.8 million suns.
The discovery comes after a similar feature was found in another ultra-compact dwarf galaxy three years ago, and now suggests the number of supermassive black holes known in the universe may be far greater than previously thought.
After the discovery three years ago, which at the time was the smallest known galaxy to contain such a large black hole, researchers suspected that these dwarf galaxies may be the tiny remnants of larger galaxies that were stripped of their outer layers after a collision with another.
The new findings from the same group, led by a team at the University of Utah, now support this hypothesis, as the black holes make up a large percentage of the small galaxies’ centers of mass.