Researchers report on the discovery of a’small black hole’ in a star group 160,000 lightyears away from Earth. 

NGC 1850 was the location of the newly discovered black hole. It is a cluster with thousands of stars located approximately 160,000 light years away from the Large Magellanic Cloud. This galaxy is a neighbor galaxy to the Milky Way.  

The Very Large Telescope, located in the Atacama desert of northern Chile by Astronomers, was used to locate the black hole. Although it is small, its mass is about 11 times that of the Sun.  

Black holes are regions of spacetime where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out. These black holes act as powerful sources of gravitation that lift up the surrounding gas and dust.  

This artist's impression shows a compact black hole 11 times as massive as the Sun and the five-solar-mass star orbiting it. The two objects are located in NGC 1850, a cluster of thousands of stars roughly 160,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a Milky Way neighbour. The distortion of the star's shape is due to the strong gravitational force exerted by the black hole. Not only does the black hole's gravitational force distort the shape of the star, but it also influences its orbit

The artist’s impression depicts a small black hole, 11 times bigger than the Sun. These two objects can be found in NGC1850, which is a cluster with thousands of stars located approximately 160,000 light years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud. This neighboring Milky Way galaxy also contains NGC 1850. Strong gravitational pressure exerted upon the black holes causes the star to distort its shape. In addition to affecting the orbit of the black hole, the gravitational forces exerted by the black holes also distort the star’s shape.


Because black holes are so dense, their gravitational pull so strong, no radiation can escape. Not even light.

These stars act as powerful sources of gravitation, which lift up gas and dust around them. They are thought to have an intense gravitational pull that is responsible for the stars of galaxies being orbited around them.

They are still not fully understood. Scientists believe that they form from a cloud of gas about 100,000 times greater than the sun.

Many of these supermassive dark holes are formed when many of the black hole seed merge into one larger black hole. These black holes can be found in every massive galaxy.

Another possibility is that a supermassive dark hole seed might come from a massive star about 100 times larger than the sun. After running out of fuel, it eventually forms into a hole and then collapses.

These giant stars also die and become’supernovae’. This is a massive explosion in which the matter of their outer layers are pushed into deep space. 

The new-found black hole is described as “small” because of its mass and not its diameter which cannot be measured. 

This is a mere 11 solar mass, but it’s nothing compared to supermassive dark holes. They range from one million to 10,000,000 times larger than our Sun. 

Dr Sara Saracino, from Liverpool John Moores University’s Astrophysics Research Institute, led the research. 

They looked at the influence of the black hole on the motions of stars in the vicinity to find it. This detection technique is the first to detect a black hole beyond our galaxy.  

It could help uncover hidden black holes in nearby galaxies as well as shed light into how these formations occur.  

Dr Saracino explained that it was similar to Sherlock Holmes pursuing a criminal gang. He looked at each star of the cluster using a magnifying lens in his one hand, trying to identify evidence for black holes, but not seeing them. 

“The above result is only one of many wanted criminals. However, once you find one you will be well on your path to finding others in other clusters.

As the name suggests, star clusters are groups of hundreds to millions of stars that share a common origin, all gravitationally bound for as long as several billions of years.  

There are two types of star clusters – open and globular. Globular clusters consist of dense balls made up about one million stars from the past, bound together by gravity. Open clusters can be much smaller and older than globular, but they are also more common. 

Experts at Penn State University say that open clusters can be a few tens or hundreds of million years old while globular clusters typically range from 12 billion to 13 miliarde years. 

An incredible shot of star cluster NGC 1850, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. NGC 1850 was discovered by Scottish astronomer James Dunlop in 1826

The Hubble Space Telescope captured an incredible image of NGC1850 star cluster. James Dunlop, a Scottish Astronomer discovered NGC 1850 in 1826.


These objects are found at the core of almost all galaxies. 

Their mass is millions to billions times that of the Sun. They are unable to escape light or even light. 

In the Milky Way the supermassive black hole is known as Sagittarius A*. 

A class of ultramassive dark holes is also available, which have a mass at least 10 times that of the son. 

These black holes are even larger, at 100 billion times as large as the sun. 

NGC 1850 was discovered in 1826 by James Dunlop, a Scottish astronomer. It is a super-star cluster. 

NGC1850 was the first detection of a dark hole in a star cluster. NGC1850 is only 100 million years young, an instant on the astronomical scales. 

MailOnline was informed by Dr Saracino that they cannot be certain it’s the youngest ever discovered black hole because it’s very hard to date them. 

“With a mass 11 times that of the Sun it’s well within the possible mass range for such objects.” It is therefore not extremely.

For their NGC1850 search, the team used data gathered over two years using the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorers (MUSE), mounted at VLT. 

“MUSE enabled us to see very crowded regions, such as the innermost areas of star clusters. We were able to analyse the light from every individual star within the area,” Sebastian Kamann (also at Liverpool’s Astrophysics Research Institute) said. 

“The net result is information about thousands upon thousands of stars in one shot. It’s at least 10 times greater than the average with other instruments.”

Astronomers were alerted to the presence of a black hole in NGC 1850 by its gravitational influence on a star orbiting it with five times the mass of our Sun – what they call the ‘smoking gun’. 

The presence of the black holes was indicated by the star’s peculiar motion.

Data from the University of Warsaw’s Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment and from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope enabled them to measure the mass of the black hole and confirm their findings. 

Pictured, instruments that form the Very Large Telescope in the remote, sparsely populated Atacama Desert in northern Chile

These are the instruments of the Very Large Telescope, located in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile.

Astronomers have previously spotted such small, ‘stellar-mass’ black holes in other galaxies by picking up the X-ray glow emitted as they swallow matter, or from the gravitational waves generated as black holes collide with one another or with neutron stars – the collapsed cores of giant stars.

However, most stellar-mass black holes don’t give away their presence through X-rays or gravitational waves. 

‘The vast majority can only be unveiled dynamically,’ said study co-author Stefan Dreizler at the University of Göttingen, Germany. 

They will cause the star’s motion to change when they are in combination with it. We can then find them by sophisticated instruments. 

The Extremely Large Telescope (ESO) in Chile will be operational later this decade and allow astronomers access to even more black holes.    

Saracino stated, “The ELT will revolutionize this field.” 

It will let us see fainter stars in the same area of vision and also allow us to find black holes in distant globular clusters. 

The finding has been detailed further in a paper published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 


European Southern Observatory (ESO), constructed the largest telescope to be built in Chile’s Atacama Desert.

It’s also known as VLT (Very Large Telescope) and it is located in the United States. It is widely considered to be one of the best optical instruments ever created.

It consists of four telescopes, whose Main mirrors measure 27ft (8.2m) in diameter.

Four auxiliary telescopes with a diameter of six feet are available.

Large telescopes are known as Antu, Kueyen and Melipal. 

The European Southern observatory (ESO) built the most powerful telescope ever made in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile and called it the Very Large Telescope (VLT).

European Southern Observatory (ESO) constructed the largest telescope to be made in Chile’s Atacama Desert. They called it The Very Large Telescope or VLT.

On April 1, 1999, the first Unit Telescope, named ‘Antu,’ began routine scientific operation.

Together, the telescopes could form an enormous ‘interferometer’.

This interferometer allows for images to be filter out of any unneeded obscuring objects. Astronomers can therefore see details 25 times better than they could with individual telescopes.  

It has been involved in spotting the first image of an extrasolar planet as well as tracking individual stars moving around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way.

The afterglow from the farthest Gamma Ray Burst was also seen.