Black hole shoved aside, along with 'central' dogma

Something pushed supermassive object off a galaxy's bull's-eye

4:26pm, May 25, 2010

MIAMI — Supermassive black holes are shiftier beasts than astronomers suspected. A new analysis reveals that the giant black hole at the core of the highly studied galaxy M87 somehow got displaced about 22 light-years from the galaxy’s center.

“This result signals a necessary shift in the supermassive black hole paradigm,” said Daniel Batcheldor of the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. The prevalence of off-center black holes “could represent a significant change in our understanding of supermassive black holes, galaxies and the ways in which they may interact with each other,” he added.

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