Black Holes in Fiction - Classification of Black Holes - Intermediate-mass Black Holes

Intermediate-mass Black Holes

The Andromeda galaxy's Globular cluster Mayall II is a strong candidate for hosting an IMBH at its core.

(100—106 M) An intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH) is one whose mass is significantly more than stellar black holes (see below) yet far less than supermassive black holes. Relatively few of these objects are believed to exist compared to the abundance of observed black holes in the stellar and supermassive mass ranges. Since the mechanisms by which IMBHs form are uncertain, it is not clear why this discrepancy exists.

IMBHs are too massive to be formed by the collapse of a single star, which is how stellar black holes are thought to form. Their environments lack the extreme conditions, the high densities and large velocities observed at the centers of galaxies, which seemingly lead to the formation of supermassive black holes. There are three popular formation scenarios for this mass range of black holes. First is the merging of stellar mass black holes and other compact objects by means of accretion; second is the runaway collision of massive stars in dense stellar clusters and the collapse of the collision product into an intermediate-mass black hole (see graphic); third is that they are primordial black holes formed early in the history of the universe.

Until recently there has been no incontrovertible observational proof of the actual existence of intermediate-mass black holes. However, a team at the CSIRO radio telescope in Australia announced on 2012-07-09 that it had the first conclusive evidence of an IMBH, one massing between 20—90 kM.

Alone among the four types of black holes, IMBHs are not the subject or setting for works of fiction cataloged below in this article.

Read more about this topic:  Black Holes In Fiction, Classification of Black Holes

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