Giant Black Hole

Astronomers report that they have discovered the most gigantic black holes ever found in the universe, an abyss 10 times the size of our solar system, encompassing regions or “event horizons” about five times the distance from the sun to Pluto or about 2,500 times as massive as the black hole at the center of the Milky Way.



Astronomers report that they have discovered the most gigantic black holes ever found in the universe, an abyss 10 times the size of our solar system, encompassing regions or “event horizons” about five times the distance from the sun to Pluto or about 2,500 times as massive as the black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

The biggest of of these monsters, which weighs as much as 21 billion Suns, is in an egg-shaped galaxy known as NGC 4889, the brightest galaxy in the Coma  cluster of thousands of galaxies about 335 million light-years away. The image at bottom of page shows the central region of the Coma cluster, with giant elliptical galaxies NGC 4889 and NGC 4874.

The other newly discovered beast, the equivalent of 9.7 billion Suns, is in the center of NGC 3842, a galaxy that anchors another swirl of stars known as Abell 1367, 331 million light-years away in Leo.

“These two black holes are significantly more massive than predicted,” the astronomers wrote.
They said their calculations suggest that different evolutionary processes influence the growth of the largest galaxies and their black holes than in smaller galaxies. Astronomers have long suspected that since the universe began it has harboured black holes with a mass the size of the two newly found giants.



Chung-Pei Ma, led a team of University of California, Berkeley astronomers who used the Gemini and Keck observatories in Hawaii and the McDonald Observatory in Texas and outer space to weigh the black holes in the centers of galaxies by clocking the speeds of stars orbiting around them; the faster the stars are going, the more gravity — and thus mass — is needed to keep the stars from flying away. They report their work in the journal Nature, which will be published online on Wednesday.

read more: dailygalaxy