Giant black hole found in an unlikely place
Astronomers have discovered a near-record breaking supermassive black hole, weighing 17 billion Suns, in the centre of a galaxy in a sparsely populated area of the universe which indicates that these onster objects may be more common than once thought.
Until now, the biggest supermassive black holes - roughly 10 billion times the mass of our sun- have been found at the cores of very large galaxies in regions of the universe packed with other large galaxies
The current record holder, discovered in the Coma Cluster by researchers from University of California Berkeley (UCB) in 2011, tips the scale at 21 billion solar masses and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The newly discovered black hole is in a galaxy, NGC 1600, in the opposite part of the sky from the Coma Cluster in a relative sparse area.
While finding a gigantic black hole in a massive galaxy in a crowded area of the universe is to be expected, it seemed less likely they could be found in the universe's small towns.
While the black hole discovered in 2011 in the galaxy NGC 4889 in the Coma Cluster was estimated to have an upper limit of 21 billion solar masses, its range of possible masses was large - between 3 billion and 21 billion Suns.
The new black hole having 17-billion-solar-mass estimate for the central black hole in NGC 1600 is much more precise, with a range of 15.5 to 18.5 billion solar masses.
The detected black hole is 200 million light years from the Earth and is aligned with the constellation Eridanus. It is also 10 times the size of the galaxy estimated by researchers for the black hole.
Formation of Black Holes : Black Holes are formed when very massive stars come to the end of their lifetime, in a supernova event. Everything that remains of the star is crushed down into an small, dense object. Close to the object, gravity is so strong that nothing can get away, not even light. This means that we cannot see anything within that region hence it has been named as the black hole.