The gigantic black hole is truly one of the most incredible scientific discoveries of recent history. Containing mysterious and awe-inspiring forces of nature, this stellar phenomenon has confounded and fascinated experts for centuries. This behemoth of deep space is an enigma, a complex structure that continues to astound us with its power and scope.
It was found by British researchers. It has the weight of 33 billion suns. In fact, it is close to the theoretical limits of the maximum mass it can reach. It is the giant black hole that was recently discovered.
Ultra-massive black holes are the heaviest objects in the universe. Their mass is 10 to 40 billion times that of the Sun. They are rare and their origins remain unknown. Astronomers can find them at the center of all large galaxies, such as the Milky Way. Some believe they formed from an extreme merger of massive galaxies billions of years ago. The universe was still young at that time.
How did they find the giant black hole? Scientists at Durham University made use of the phenomenon of gravitational lensing. Thus, a nearby galaxy becomes a giant magnifying glass. They then ran supercomputer simulations and analyzed images captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. And they confirmed the size of the supermassive black hole.
The lead author of the study is James Nightingale, Department of Physics. He stated, “This black hole is about 30 billion times the mass of our Sun. It is one of the largest ever detected. It is at the upper limit of how big we think black holes could theoretically become. This is an extremely exciting discovery.”
The researchers said their work opens up “tantalizing possibilities.” Astronomers could detect more ultramasmic black holes than previously thought.
Nightingale stresses that most large black holes are in an active state. Matter attracted to the black hole is heated and emits energy in the form of light, X-rays, and other forms of radiation. However, gravitational lensing makes it possible to discover inactive black holes. This is currently not possible in distant galaxies. The researchers believe that this approach could make it possible to detect many more holes outside our local universe. And thus, it will reveal how these exotic objects evolved.