Sunday, December 2, 2012

Huge Black Hole Discovered

Astronomers have found the largest black hole yet in a small galaxy far, far away.  The object is 17 million solar masses, and its width is 11 times the orbit of Neptune.  It is huge.

It also contains 14 percent of the total mass of the galaxy in which it resides.  That figure for black holes in galaxies is usually 0.1 percent.  So, this black hole is one of an emerging class in which a black hole contains a significant percentage of the mass of the host galaxy.  Physicists don't understand yet how that happens, but explaining it is clearly important in working out a general theory of galaxy formation.

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