eso0529 — Science Release
Black Hole in Search of a Home
14 September 2005: An international team of astronomers  used two of the most powerful astronomical facilities available, the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Cerro Paranal and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), to conduct a detailed study of 20 low redshift quasars. For 19 of them, they found, as expected, that these super massive black holes are surrounded by a host galaxy. But when they studied the bright quasar HE0450-2958, located some 5 billion light-years away, they couldn't find evidence for an encircling galaxy. This, the astronomers suggest, may indicate a rare case of collision between a seemingly normal spiral galaxy and a much more exotic object harbouring a very massive black hole.