The discovered supermassive black hole has a mass 30 billion times that of the Sun
One of the largest known black holes has been discovered.
It’s so gigantic that astronomers believe it’s 30 billion times the mass of our Sun and 8,000 times the size of the Sagittarius A* black hole at the heart of the Milky Way.
Experts said the “extremely exciting” discovery was made possible thanks to a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing — the first time a black hole has been detected in this way.
It occurs when a foreground galaxy bends light from a more distant object, magnifying it.
The technique allowed researchers at Durham University to study the ultramassive black hole in detail at the heart of a galaxy hundreds of millions of light-years from Earth.
Enormous: One of the largest known black holes has been discovered. It is so gigantic that the object (shown in an artist’s rendering) has over 30 billion times the mass of our Sun
New technique: Experts said the “extremely exciting” discovery was made possible by a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing — the first time a black hole has been discovered this way
Black holes are regions of spacetime where gravity pulls so hard even light can’t get out.
WHAT IS GRAVITATIONAL LENSING?
Gravitational lensing occurs when a massive galaxy or galaxy cluster bends light from a more distant galaxy.
This creates a greatly enlarged, albeit severely distorted, image.
This is because massive objects bend spacetime around them, causing light to travel a different path.
This theory was first proposed by Einstein in his General Theory of Relativity.
They act as intense sources of gravity, sucking up surrounding dust and gas.
The lead author Dr. James Nightingale said: “This particular black hole, which is about 30 billion times the size of our Sun, is one of the largest ever discovered and is at the upper limit of how large we think black holes can theoretically get.” is an extremely exciting discovery.”
For comparison, the largest black hole in the known universe is one that powers the quasar TON 618 and has a mass 66 billion times that of the Sun.
Sagittarius A*, on the other hand, is located at the galactic center of our Milky Way and has a mass of 4.1 million solar masses – only a fraction in comparison.
The new discovery opens up the tantalizing possibility of finding many more dormant and ultramassive black holes than astronomers previously thought, which in turn would allow them to understand how they got so large.
dr Nightingale said: “Most of the largest black holes known to us are in an active state, in which matter that is drawn near the black hole heats up and releases energy in the form of light, X-rays and other radiation .
The researchers made their discovery after simulating light traveling through the universe hundreds of thousands of times. Each simulation involved a black hole of a different mass that altered the light’s journey to Earth
Gravitational lensing occurs when a foreground galaxy bends light from a more distant object, magnifying it
“However, gravitational lensing makes it possible to study inactive black holes, which is currently not possible in distant galaxies.
“This approach could allow us to detect many more black holes outside of our local universe and uncover how these exotic objects evolved further back in cosmic time.”
The researchers made their discovery by using a supercomputer to simulate light traveling hundreds of thousands of times through the universe.
Each simulation contained a black hole with a different mass that could alter light’s journey to Earth.
When the researchers included an ultramassive black hole in one of their simulations, the path taken by light from the distant galaxy to Earth matched the path seen in real Hubble Space Telescope images.
The team hopes that this is the first step in enabling deeper exploration of black hole mysteries, and that future large telescopes will help astronomers study even more distant black holes to learn more about their size and scope .
Black holes are often referred to as “destructive monsters” because they tear apart stars, consume anything that gets too close, and trap light.
When the researchers included an ultramassive black hole in one of their simulations, the path taken by light from the distant galaxy to Earth matched the path seen in real images from the Hubble Space Telescope (pictured).
Most, if not all, galaxies have monstrous black holes at their cores, including our own Milky Way.
When galaxies merge, their black holes “sink” into the center of the newly formed galaxy, eventually merging to form an even more massive black hole.
As the black holes spiral toward each other, they increasingly disrupt the fabric of space and time, emitting gravitational waves first predicted by Albert Einstein more than 100 years ago.
The largest black holes have emerged as “an integral part of models of galaxy formation and evolution,” the experts say.
The research results were published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
FIVE BLACK HOLE THEORIES SURROUNDING THEM
Black holes are among the most fascinating and hotly debated objects in the universe.
They have captured the public’s imagination for decades, thanks in part to the late Stephen Hawking, who transformed them from an elusive scientific theory into a source of mysterious wonder.
Mysterious: Black holes are among the most fascinating and hotly debated objects in the universe (stock image)
They’ve also seeped into popular culture through sci-fi magazines, Star Trek, and Hollywood blockbusters.
But what are the five most bizarre and intriguing black hole theories that are so inscrutable they’re losing their minds?
MailOnline looks here.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-11911309/Supermassive-black-hole-discovered-30-BILLION-times-mass-Sun.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 The discovered supermassive black hole has a mass 30 billion times that of the Sun