22:42 GMT27 January 2020
Listen Live
    Get short URL

    A recently-discovered black hole raises the question of whether the mysterious celestial objects are much more common than presumed.

    According to the University of California, Berkeley, a supermassive black hole, with an estimated mass of 17 billion times that of the Sun, was discovered recently in a relatively empty section of space, in the small NGC 1600 galaxy.

    The probability of discovering a supermassive black hole is thought to be higher inside large galaxies. Smaller galaxies are much more common, but were previously considered not an appropriate host for a black hole of such a large size.

    "So the question now is: 'Is this the tip of an iceberg?'" study co-author Chung-Pei Ma said. The discovery raises questions about how many of these objects there actually are in the space.

    Black holes are very dense regions in space with a gravitational force so strong that not even light can escape — making them essentially invisible to the naked eye. Formed when massive stars implode at the end of their lives, black holes normally lurk undetected near or at galaxy centers.


    Hubble Telescope Finds Enormous Black Hole, Largest On Record
    Scientists Discover Quasar Powered by Double Black Hole
    Little, but Perfectly Formed: Smallest Supermassive Black Hole Discovered
    Black Hole Telescope Snaps Sun's Colorful X-Rays
    supermassive black hole, astronomy, discovery, Space
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik