Scientists discover ultramassive black hole ’30 billion times the mass of the Sun’

An ultramassive black hole around 33 billion times the mass of the Sun has been discovered by astronomers in the UK.

Scientists at Durham University said the gigantic black hole is one of the largest ever found.

The team described their findings, published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, as “extremely exciting”.

Lead author Dr James Nightingale, from Durham University’s Department of Physics, said: “This particular black hole, which is approximately 30 billion times the mass of our Sun, is one of the largest ever. detected and is at the upper limit of its size”. We think that black holes can theoretically become, so it’s an extremely exciting discovery.”

Ultramassive black holes are the most massive objects in the universe, between 10 billion and 40 billion times the mass of the Sun.

Astronomers believe that they can be found at the center of all large galaxies, such as the Milky Way.

Ultramassive black holes are rare and elusive, and their origins are unclear.

Some believe they formed from the extreme merger of massive galaxies billions of years ago when the universe was still young.

The researchers used a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing, where they took the help of a nearby galaxy by turning it into a giant magnifying glass.

This revealed the presence of the ultramassive black hole, a region where the pull of gravity is so powerful that not even light can escape.

The scientists used supercomputer simulations at Durham University and images captured by the Hubble Space Telescope to confirm the size of the supermassive black hole.

They said that this is the first black hole found using gravitational lensing.

Dr Nightingale said: “Most of the largest black holes we know of are in an active state, where matter approaching the black hole heats up and releases energy in the form of light, X-rays and other radiation.

“However, gravitational lensing makes it possible to study quiescent black holes, something that is currently not possible in distant galaxies.

“This approach could allow us to detect many more black holes beyond our local universe and reveal how these exotic objects evolved further back in cosmic time.”

The researchers said their work opens up the “tempting possibility” that astronomers may discover more ultramassive black holes than previously thought.

The research was supported by the UK Space Agency, the Royal Society, the Council for Science and Technology Facilities, UK Research and Innovation part and the European Research Council.


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