UNITED KINGDOM: A group of space scientists from Durham University in the UK recently found one of the biggest black holes ever. It is 33 billion times the mass of our sun. This finding has been described as “extremely exciting” by the team, and it has been published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
According to the researchers, supermassive black holes such as this one can be found at the centres of large galaxies, including our own Milky Way. This discovery was made using gravitational lensing, a technique that uses a nearby galaxy as a magnifying glass, allowing astronomers to study black holes that are otherwise difficult to observe.
“This particular black hole, which is approximately 30 billion times the mass of our Sun, is one of the biggest ever detected and on the upper limit of how large we believe black holes can theoretically become, so it is an extremely exciting discovery,” said Dr James Nightingale, the study’s lead author from Durham University’s Department of Physics.
Most of the largest black holes that scientists know about are in an active state, meaning that they are actively pulling matter into themselves and releasing energy in the form of light and other radiation.
Still, gravitational lensing makes it possible to study inactive black holes, which is not possible in galaxies far away.
Ultramassive black holes like the one the team found are rare and hard to find, and no one knows where they come from yet. Some experts believe that they were formed when the universe was young and galaxies were merging.
This discovery was made only a few days after another international team of researchers discovered a supermassive black hole at the heart of the galaxy PBC J2333.9-2343 that has shifted direction and is now pointed towards Earth. This black hole is shining brightly in the sky because it is ejecting strong jets of energy.
The PBC J2333.9-2343 galaxy is now a ‘blazar,’ which is considered to be one of the most powerful phenomena in the universe. The reason for the change in direction is not clear, but some astronomers believe that a collision with another galaxy may have caused it. The implications of the black hole’s direction on Earth and our galaxy are currently unknown.
Overall, these discoveries show how far the field of astronomy has come in recent years, and they give us important information about the mysteries of the universe. The study of black holes is still in its infancy, and there is much more to learn about these fascinating objects and their role in the cosmos.
Also Read: Indian Astronomers Make Headlines with Major Variable Star Discovery in NGC 381