A mid-size black hole-called the “missing link” in understanding such celestial brutes-has been found by scientists, eviscerating an unfortunate star that strayed too close. The famed space observatory made the find while hunting down the source of a powerful burst of X-rays caught in 2006 by two other cosmic telescopes: NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency’s X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission (XMM-Newton).At the time, astronomers weren’t sure if the X-rays had come from inside or outside of the Milky Way galaxy, but new high-resolution photography by Hubble shows that the X-ray source (known as 3XMM J215022.4−055108) is located in a star cluster at the edge of another galaxy. That’s exactly where an intermediate-sized black hole (IMBH) may lurk — at least, according to theory.Black holes are incredibly dense objects which have such strong gravitational forces that not even light can escape. This is one of the few ever known “intermediate-mass” black holes, being far smaller than the supermassive black holes that exist in the core of vast galaxies but much larger than the so-called stellar-mass black holes created by the collapse of massive individual stars.The nature of these mid-range black holes makes them harder to spot because they aren’t as active as supermassive black holes. They are also lacking the telltale gravitational pull on objects around them, which can create a detectable X-ray glow. This particular black hole is more than 50,000 times the mass of our sun.