B3 1715+425 is not your ordinary not-so-friendly neighborhood black hole. After millions of years of devouring everything in its vicinity, it is now empty, alone, hungry, and leaking ionized particles. Experts believe that the naked black hole will eventually die out, its painful screams muffled by the void that now surrounds it.
How the Naked Black Hole Came to Be
According to astronomers, there was nothing unusual about B3 1715+425 a couple of millions of years ago. However, the troubles began when the galaxy at the center of which the black hole lay, collided with another galaxy.
The merger itself is not an uncommon phenomenon. Experts say that most of the large galaxies that humanity has studied so far are most probably the results of collisions. When this happens, the black holes residing at the center of the galaxies start orbiting each other in a never-ending cosmic dance powered by their undrainable gravitational attraction.
In the end, the black holes end up touching, merging into a single black hole. The process gives birth to massive energy bursts. It also creates gravitational waves, the kind that LIDO detected last year.
What Went Wrong with B3 1715+425?
Nearly all galaxies feature a black hole in their center. The merger process almost always takes places in roughly the same manner. However, in rare instances, order is replaced by chaos and a black hole can lose it all.
The team that discovered the naked black hole believes that millions of years ago, the galaxy that harbored B3 1715+425 collided with another, significantly larger galaxy. The latter was probably formed through numerous other mergers, and it shred the smaller one into tiny bits, like a garbage disposal would destroy an onion.
The collision left behind a wounded remnant of a once whole galaxy, the supermassive black hole remaining with just enough food for a couple of millions of years.
Now, the time has passed, the supplies are gone, and B3 1715+425 is exposed ad leaking ionized gas as it crimples away at 2,000 kilometers per second, screaming for help into the endless void that surrounds it.
What Will Happen to the Naked Black Hole?
Researchers theorized that in approximately one million years the black hole would starve and slowly become invisible, dissipating into the blackness of space.
Image source: Flickr