Scientists have discovered the most massive black holes — or “ultramassive” black holes — in the universe. This set of gigantic black holes located about 3.5 billion light-years from the planet Earth has enormous masses.
The findings of the discovery were published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Mar Mezcua, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Space Sciences in Spain, and Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo, a professor in the Department of Physics at Universite de Montreal, led the discovery and research, according to Phys.Org.
The scientists investigated about 72 galaxies that are located at the core of the universe’s brightest and most massive galaxy clusters, and they found the most massive black holes in the universe using the NASA’s Chandra X-ray telescope. The team thought that these black holes are overgrowing than the stars in their respective galaxies.
Most of the masses of these massive black holes are about 10 times greater than the ones initially projected, and the masses of more than half of these black holes are about 10 billion times more massive than the Sun. The scientists analyzed the radio waves and X-ray emissions in determining their masses. Their size qualifies the said black holes as ultramassive black holes, according to Newsweek.
Mezcua said that they had discovered black holes that are far larger and way more massive than anticipated. Meanwhile, Professor Hlavacek-Larrondo explained that a black hole is an invisible celestial object whose gravitational pull is so strong that neither matter nor light could escape it. He further explained that it swallows everything in its path like a bottomless vortex.
He also said that a black hole is most often created when a massive star dies and collapses on itself. He added that the fascinating thing about black holes is how they distort time around them. Einstein’s theory of relativity stated that time flows more slowly in strong gravitational fields such as the giant celestial objects.
The image above shows a computer simulation of a supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. The center of the black hole, which is the black region, is the black hole’s event horizon, in which no light could escape its gravitational pull. Meanwhile, the stars in the background are damaged as the stars toss by the black hole.