Astronomers have discovered some of the smallest galaxies known to host massive black holes; findings which may reveal how such regions of space exhibiting ultrahigh gravitational force — that even light cannot escape from — formed in the early universe. The study, published in the Astrophysical Journal, found 13 massive black holes, about 4,00,000 times as heavy as the Sun, in dwarf galaxies which are more than 100 times smaller than our own Milky Way. According to the researchers, including those from Montana State University in the US, these galaxies are situated so far away that light from the Earth would take less than a billion years to reach them.
The scientists used the Very Large Array (VLA), a radio astronomy observatory located in central New Mexico in the US, to make the discovery. Previously in 2011, Reines and her colleagues used VLA to discover the first massive black hole in a dwarf starburst galaxy in 2011.