Throughout the universe, supermassive black holes can typically be found at the center of massive galaxies that stretch tens of light years across. However, using Hubble, a team of researchers has discovered a supermassive black hole that appears to have been ejected from its galaxy. The black hole, which is around 20 million times more massive than our Sun, is traveling incredibly fast — so fast that it could travel the distance between Earth and the Moon in just 14 minutes.
What’s more, as the black hole travels through space it is plowing into gas ahead of it. As the black hole compresses the gas, star formation is triggered, and new hot blue stars are created — leaving a 200,000 light-year-long trail of stars behind the black hole. The trail of stars is very bright as it likely houses an extremely high amount of young stars, with the trail’s brightness being nearly half as bright as the black hole’s host galaxy. Nothing like this has ever been observed by scientists, and Hubble’s observations are helping scientists understand the characteristics of black holes and how they affect their surrounding environments.