An international team of astronomers, led by experts from the University of Utah, discovered supermassive black holes in two ultra compact dwarf galaxies VUCD3 and M59cO.
According to scientists, the VUCD3 and M59cO galaxies are likely to be the remnants of larger galaxies that lost their substance after collision with other galaxies: Messier 87 and Messier 59 respectively.
Ultra-compact dwarf galaxies (UCD) were first discovered in the 1990s. These galaxies have a mass of several million to hundreds of millions of solar masses, and their size is less than 300 light years. Ultra-compact dwarf galaxies are considered to be one of the densest systems in the universe.
VUCD3 and M59cO are at a distance of 53 million and 60 million light years from us. These ultra-compact dwarf galaxies are located next to much more massive galaxies in the Virgo cluster: Messier 87 and Messier 59.
The black hole in VUCD3 has a mass equal to 4.4 million solar masses, which is 13% of the total mass of the galaxy. The mass of the black hole in M59cO reaches 5.8 million solar masses – 18% of the total mass of matter in the galaxy.
For comparison, the black hole in our Milky Way “weighs” 4 million solar masses, which is less than 0.01% of the total mass of the galaxy.