Mass of 30 billion suns? A supermassive black hole has been discovered

A research team at Durham University in the UK has announced that they have discovered an object believed to be the largest black hole ever known. This black hole has a mass of more than 30 billion suns and is said to exist at the center of a galaxy 2.7 billion light years away from Earth.

According to the research team, the black hole in question exists at the center of a galaxy cluster called Abell 1201, 2.7 billion light years from Earth. Its mass is 32.7 billion times that of the Sun. The mass of a typical supermassive black hole is millions to billions of times that of the sun, but the black hole discovered this time is a much more massive object.

A black hole’s mass is so massive that its center becomes a gravitational singularity from which even light cannot escape. Most black holes are in an active state and emit energy in the form of light, X-rays, or other radiation.

The black hole image, taken for the first time in the history of astronomical observations in 2019, has been successfully captured using electromagnetic waves emitted by very high temperature plasma gas. One way to find these invisible black holes is to look for a phenomenon called gravitational lensing. If a celestial body with a massive mass such as a black hole exists, the surrounding space-time itself is distorted, so there are cases where light is distorted or stretched as if passing through a lens. Observing this distortion of light confirms the existence of a black hole.

The BCG cluster galaxy, located at the center of Abell 1201, is known so far to act as a strong gravitational lens. At the top right of the BCG, the original galaxy cluster on the other side of the BCG is distorted. From this, it was believed that a fairly large black hole existed in Abell 1201 BCG, but the details have not been revealed so far.

Therefore, the research team analyzed pictures of Abell 1201 taken by the Hubble Space Telescope so far, simulated light passing through space hundreds of thousands of times with a computer, and from the characteristics of gravitational lensing, it was concluded that there supermassive black. hole with a mass of 32.7 billion times the sun at the center of Abell 1201. do.

The event horizon diameter of this supermassive black hole at the center of Abell 1201 is more than 1,290 astronomical units. Considering that the distance from the Sun to Pluto is 40 AU, you can get an idea of ​​how big this black hole is.

The research team says it has been able to study black holes that are not in an active state by checking the effect of gravitational lensing. Relevant information can be found here.


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