This is an illustration of a close-up look at a black hole drifting through our Milky Way galaxy. The black hole is the crushed remnant of a massive star that exploded as a supernova. The surviving core is several times the mass of our Sun. The black hole traps light due to its intense gravitational field. The black hole distorts the space around it, which warps images of background stars lined up almost directly behind it. This gravitational “lensing” effect offers the only telltale evidence for the existence of lone black holes wandering our galaxy, which may be a population of 100 million. The Hubble Space Telescope goes hunting for these black holes by looking for distortion in starlight as the black holes drift in front of background stars. Credit: FECYT, IAC
Hubble Determines Mass of Black Hole Isolated Black Hole
Supermassive black holes, such as Sagittarius A* — the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy — lie at the center of virtually all galaxies. However, a small stellar mass black hole, which is sometimes left behind when massive stars explode in a supernova, can be on their own, isolated in space.
It is estimated that approximately one in a thousand stars is massive enough to give birth to a black hole. Since the