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Waspie_Dwarf

Gas promises bumper black hole 'weigh-in'

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Gas promises bumper black hole 'weigh-in'

A new way of measuring the mass of supermassive black holes could revolutionise our understanding of how they form and help to shape galaxies.

The technique, developed by a team including Oxford University scientists, can spot the telltale tracer of carbon monoxide within the cloud of gas (mostly hydrogen) circling a supermassive black hole at the centre of a distant galaxy. By detecting the velocity of the spinning gas they are able to 'weigh' (determine the mass) of the black hole.

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