When people think of a black hole, they typically imagine a large, burning cosmic being, millions or billions of times larger than our sun. However, not all black holes are supermassive, and the smaller ones are also important.
A team of scientists from the University of Michigan measured the mass of a small black hole in a nearby dwarf galaxy and estimated that the black hole was about 40 times smaller than the researchers previously thought.  The object located in the center of the dwarf galaxy NGC 4395 is approximately 10,000 times of the solar mass the researchers stated.
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Although astronomers believe that any galaxy as large or larger than the Milky Way contains a supermassive black hole in its center, the researchers do not know much over the black holes of smaller galaxies ̵
"Do these galaxies have black holes, and if so, do they scale the same way as supermassive black holes?" Elena Gallo, astronomy professor at the University of Michigan and lead author of the study, said in a statement .
By looking at these relatively small black holes, scientists hope for a better understanding. The supermassive black holes occupying larger galaxies, the researchers said. They also want to find out how black holes affect the properties of these galaxies.
"Answering these questions could help us to understand the mechanism by which these black monster holes were put together in the infancy of the universe," Gallo added.  To measure the mass of the black hole, the researchers used a technique called Reverberation Mapping which measures the radiation emitted by a rotating disk around a black hole.
The scientists want to be able to apply the same measurement techniques to supermassive black holes, the statement states.
"This extends the family of black holes over which we have information to a new member," Gallo said.  The results were published on June 10 in the journal Nature Astronomy .
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