The black hole has mass 17 billion times that of the Sun.
USA – Astronomers have ‘stumbled’ into a super gigantic black hole in an unanticipated corner of the universe, “which implies that these galactic monsters are much more common than previously thought,” according to a study released April 6.
The giant hole, with a mass 17 billion times that of the Sun, was discovered in relative wilderness, they said astronomers at the University of Berkeley (California), in their work which was published in the journal Nature.
“While finding a gigantic black hole in a massive galaxy in a crowded area of the Universe is to be expected — like running across a skyscraper in Manhattan — it seemed less likely they could be found in the Universe’s small towns,” said a university statement.
According to study co-author and lead discoverer Chung-Pei Ma, the question now is: “So the question now is: ‘Is this the tip of an iceberg?” He then added, “May be there are a lot more monster black holes out there that don’t live in a skyscraper in Manhattan, but in a tall building somewhere in the Midwestern plains.”
A super gigantic black hole can have a mass of about one million suns and go up to billions. The smaller black holes, “common” range between tens and hundreds of solar masses, according to the study. “Black holes are very dense regions in spacetime with a gravitational force so strong that even light cannot escape, making them invisible.”
The study revealed they are formed when massive stars implode at the end of their lives, black holes normally lurk dormant and undetected in the centers of galaxies.
Scientists say that “holes can sometimes be detected by its gravitational effect on the orbits of stars around, and occasionally by their spectacular feeding frenzies.”
The super gigantic black hole detected until today has about 21 billion solar masses, according to the authors.