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Runaway black hole

11:23am, December 19, 2002

Observing a black hole and a companion star caroming through our galaxy, astronomers say they've found the best evidence to date that small black holes are born during supernova explosions.

The black hole and its partner, collectively known as GRO J1655-40, are streaking across the galaxy at 400,000 kilometers per hour, four times the average speed of neighboring stars. The duo's speed and elliptical orbit about the galaxy's core suggest the bodies were kicked out of their presumed birthplace within the Milky Way's inner disk, where most stars are formed.

The gargantuan power required to set GRO J1655-40 into motion most likely came from a supernova that created the pair, asserts I. Felix Mirabel of the Frenc

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