Astronomers discover the most massive black hole ever

Nov 29, 2012
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Astronomers have announced that they have discovered the most massive black hole ever found. The gigantic and massive black hole is in a small galaxy that is about 250 million light years from Earth. The astronomers estimate that the supermassive black hole has a mass equivalent to 17 billion suns.

The massive black hole is located inside the galaxy NGC 1277 found in the constellation Perseus. The supermassive black hole makes up 14% of the host galaxy's mass. According to astronomers, the typical blackhole makes up only 0.1% of the mass of its host galaxy.

Scientist Carl Gebhardt from the University of Texas at Austin said, "this could be the first object in a new class of galaxy-blackhole systems." The astronomers say that the supermassive blackhole is about 11 times as wide as the orbit of Neptune around the sun in our solar system. Interestingly, the incredible mass of the black hole was so far out of the range of normal that the team of scientists who discovered it took an additional year to verify their findings before submitting the research paper for publication.

The next closest competitor for size comes from galaxy NGC 4486B. That galaxy has a blackhole that makes up 11% of its central bulge mass. The research paper published by the astronomers who discovered the massive black hole in NGC 1277 can be found in the latest issue of the journal Nature, which is available today.

[via Space.com]


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