How to Build a Middleweight Black Hole:
A new model shows how an elusive type of black hole can form in the gas surrounding its supermassive counterparts. Astrophysics propose that intermediate-mass black holes—light-swallowing celestial objects with masses ranging from hundreds to many thousands of times the mass of the Sun—can grow in the gas disks around supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies. The physical mechanism parallels the model astrophysicists use to describe the growth of giant planets in the gas disks surrounding stars.
This simulated image shows the interaction between a massive gas giant planet (comparable in mass to Jupiter) and a surrounding protoplanetary disk of gas and dust. (P. Armitage\U. Colorado)
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