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Astronomers find biggest black hole, 17 BILLION times the size of Sun
The Register ^ | 28th November 2012 21:21 GMT | Iain Thomson in San Francisco

Posted on 11/28/2012 2:29:09 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach

A team at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy has found the largest recorded black hole, one that swallows an unprecedented amount of its home galaxy, potentially requiring a rethink in our understanding of galactic formation.

The huge hole has been spotted in the heart of the disk system NGC 1277, a smallish galaxy about 10 per cent of the size of the Milky Way and situated around 220 million light-years from Earth, in the constellation Perseus.

Almost all galaxies have black holes at their centers, but they typically only take up around 0.1 per cent of the total galactic mass. The newly-discovered black hole takes up 14 per cent, making it 17 billion times the mass of our sun. By comparison, the black hole at the Milky Way's heart is around four billion solar masses.

What's more, the discovery doesn’t seem to be a freak of nature. The team surveying black holes has found five other galaxies with similar characteristics, Dr. Karl Gebhardt, professor of astrophysics at the University of Texas at Austin, told The Register. Eight months ago, the team discovered a black hole that could be as large as 30 billion solar masses (though that's unconfirmed).

Black hole

A really, really, really big hole (click to enlarge)

One might expect to find larger black holes in older galaxies, but this does not appear to be the case. The NGC 1277 galaxy looks to be around eight billion years old – youngish on the cosmic scale – so the event that produced such a large black hole must have been formed by factors outside of our current experience.

"I would have said that it is unlikely that age has an effect, but we might be looking at a chicken and egg problem here. It is just not clear how to make a system with such a large black hole to galaxy ratio (a factor of 100 larger than typical ratios)," he explained.

Dr Karl Gebhardt

Time for a rethink suggests Dr. Karl Gebhardt (click to enlarge)

These discoveries could require some retooling of current astronomical theories, he said. The large size of the black hole doesn't fit with known models as they stand, and a deeper search could find many more examples of this kind of galaxy. The team will publish their results in the journal Nature this month.

"At the moment there are three completely different mechanisms that all claim to explain the link between black hole mass and host galaxies' properties. We do not understand yet which of these theories is best," Nature lead author Remco van den Bosch said in a statement. ®


TOPICS: Astronomy
KEYWORDS: blackholes; stringtheory

1 posted on 11/28/2012 2:29:13 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: SunkenCiv

Another one.


2 posted on 11/28/2012 2:30:18 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

They saw our deficit through a telescope?


3 posted on 11/28/2012 2:30:51 PM PST by Beowulf9
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Wasn’t that guy the head scientist from Independence Day?


4 posted on 11/28/2012 2:33:46 PM PST by EEGator
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To: EEGator
He does Hollywood too?
5 posted on 11/28/2012 2:37:20 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

17 billion times the size of our sun and half the size of Obama’s ego.


6 posted on 11/28/2012 2:43:12 PM PST by MeganC (Our forefathers would be shooting by now.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Photobucket

Hey, I know, we could blow up the Moon, Earth would swing out of orbit towards the black hole and end global warming

7 posted on 11/28/2012 2:43:22 PM PST by twistedwrench
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Not sure if you are joking, but I was. They just have the same dirty hippie hair.


8 posted on 11/28/2012 2:44:41 PM PST by EEGator
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

“117 billion times the mass of our sun.” Oh, come on, is that all?


9 posted on 11/28/2012 2:45:51 PM PST by Williams (No Obama)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I think that was an old Star Trek actor.


10 posted on 11/28/2012 2:49:18 PM PST by brivette
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Nice Yarn...


11 posted on 11/28/2012 2:57:13 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I wonder what Dr Kaku thinks about this? Is this the next bing bang site?


12 posted on 11/28/2012 3:03:44 PM PST by RitchieAprile (the obsteperous gentleman..)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

A Dallas city council member said “black hole” was racist. Maybe the was thinking “black ho”.


13 posted on 11/28/2012 3:13:35 PM PST by Terry Mross (I haven't watched the news since the election. Someone ping me if anything big happens.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

That is f’d up. Vigorous gynormous black holes in young galaxies, and not as an outlier.


14 posted on 11/28/2012 3:17:42 PM PST by StAnDeliver (Own It.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

4 Billion....17 Billion....what’s a few billion solar masses among friends???


15 posted on 11/28/2012 3:17:58 PM PST by wesagain (The God (Elohim) of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the One True GOD.)
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To: MeganC
Zippy's ego is 16 Trillion times the mass of the sun.
16 posted on 11/28/2012 3:27:05 PM PST by BerryDingle (I know how to deal with communists, I still wear their scars on my back from Hollywood-Ronald Reagan)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

That guy is wearing a wig.


17 posted on 11/28/2012 3:33:12 PM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
........17 billion times the mass of our sun.

Bet life sucks to live in that galaxy, scientifically speaking.

18 posted on 11/28/2012 3:49:32 PM PST by The Cajun (Sarah Palin, Mark Levin......Nuff said.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

wow. those are big suckers.. literally.


19 posted on 11/28/2012 4:17:36 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I thought the biggest black hole was in Washington (various interpretations possible).


20 posted on 11/28/2012 4:30:53 PM PST by beethovenfan (If Islam is the solution, the "problem" must be freedom.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Anyone remember "The Black Hole" movie? It was a little hard to take it seriously when they used such DOPEY looking robots. Oh, and the crew actually went through the black hole and LIVED! It was sort of like an acid trip experience.

21 posted on 11/28/2012 4:51:11 PM PST by PJ-Comix (Beware the Rip in the Space/Time Continuum)
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To: PJ-Comix

I loved that movie. It had a few hokey elements, but it was a Disney movie, and the funny robots did seem cool to me as a kid. The big bad red robot, Maximillian, was pretty rocking. I think he was probably the inspiration for the Imperial Guard uniforms in Return of the Jedi.


22 posted on 11/28/2012 6:12:32 PM PST by Boogieman
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; brytlea; cripplecreek; decimon; bigheadfred; KoRn; Grammy; married21; ...

Thanks Ernest, an ‘extra, extra’ to APoD members.


23 posted on 11/28/2012 7:51:06 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: 6SJ7; AdmSmith; AFPhys; Arkinsaw; allmost; aristotleman; autumnraine; Beowulf; Bones75; BroJoeK; ...
Thanks Ernest.

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24 posted on 11/28/2012 8:01:55 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: EEGator

That isn’t his hair. He is standing directly in front of his sister. You can tell by the red shift.


25 posted on 11/28/2012 8:29:49 PM PST by Sawdring
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Damn, that dude ever wash his hair?

That said, a layman's version of just how a black ho size is estimated would be interesting...............

26 posted on 11/28/2012 9:16:25 PM PST by doorgunner69
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To: Sawdring

Did you just make an Astronomy joke? :)


27 posted on 11/28/2012 10:10:31 PM PST by EEGator
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Any relation to Debbie Wasserman-Shultz? Has her hair.


28 posted on 11/29/2012 4:29:26 AM PST by duckman (I'm part of the group pulling the wagon!)
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To: EEGator

Ha, Ha, you caught that?


29 posted on 11/29/2012 4:59:52 AM PST by Sawdring
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To: Sawdring

Yep. I’ve taken some classes on Astronomy. It’s not everyday you get to hear an Astronomy joke. :)


30 posted on 11/29/2012 5:15:25 AM PST by EEGator
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To: duckman

Now that makes sense....she has wild hair.


31 posted on 11/29/2012 8:18:14 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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