Black holes are already pretty mind-boggling, however, even scientists were taken back when they came across this particular bend in spacetime.
As for why, every black hole that scientists have ever spotted have fallen into one of two categories, but not this one. Usually, we either have stellar black holes or supermassive black holes. The first have masses within the region of five times its stellar-mass, while the latter have masses that can be millions or billions times bigger than that of our Sun. Something which has never been spotted, until now, is a black hole that sits in between those two ranges, these are called intermediate-mass black holes.
As for how they spotted it, an international group of astronomers were working with LIGO and the Virgo Collaboration. Finally, the team were able to directly observed the gravitational waves coming off of this particular black hole. Interestingly, this intermediate-mass black hole sits around five gigaparsecs away (a ridiculously large distance) and has a mass approximately 142 times the mass of our own Sun.
Dr. Karan Jani of Vanderbilt University stated that: “This is a milestone in modern astronomy and a personal milestone after six years of intensive research of hunting these elusive black holes.” Adding: “The system we’ve discovered is so bizarre that it breaks a number of previous assumptions about how black holes form.”
“We have looked into every known scenario that would have created this black hole but don’t have a conclusive explanation for it just yet.”