“Something Unknown?” Odd Galaxy May Have Evolved Around a Massive Black Hole

 

 

ESO 495-21

 

A tiny dwarf galaxy, ESO 495-21, three percent the size of the Milky Way, harbors a massive black hole that may offer clues as to how black holes and galaxies evolved in the early Universe. The origin of the central supermassive black holes in galaxies is still a matter of debate — do the galaxies form first and then crush material at their centers into black holes, or do pre-existing black holes gather galaxies around them? Do they evolve together — or could the answer be something else entirely?

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