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Record-breaking supermassive black hole found in heart of far-off galaxy

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posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 10:57 AM
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Record-breaking supermassive black hole found in heart of far-off galaxy
globalnews.ca...


A supermassive black hole — with the mass 21 billion times that of our own sun — has been found at the heart of a distant galaxy.

NGC 4889 is an elliptical galaxy. Rather than being the galaxy most people think of, elliptical galaxies look like they have no real structure, with their collection of stars looking more like blobs in space.

The galaxy is about 300 million light years away, in the heart of a galaxy cluster known as the Coma Cluster. The black hole has an event horizon — a location where not even light can escape — with diameter of 130 billion km. That’s approximately the distance between the sun and Neptune, the last planet in our solar system. Comparatively, the black hole at the heart of our galaxy has an event horizon about one-fifth the orbit of Mercury, the closest planet to the sun and a mass of about four million times that of the sun.

Astronomers believe that the black hole is no longer gobbling up matter. In fact, they believe that stars have begun to form in the surrounding region.


www.ecnmag.com...


Hidden from human eyes is a supermassive black hole within this elliptical galaxy, NGC 4889.

The placid appearance of NGC 4889 can fool the unsuspecting observer. But the elliptical galaxy, pictured in this new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, harbours a dark secret. At its heart lurks one of the most massive black holes ever discovered.

Located about 300 million light-years away in the Coma Cluster, the giant elliptical galaxy NGC 4889, the brightest and largest galaxy in this image, is home to a record-breaking supermassive black hole. Twenty-one billion times the mass of the Sun, this black hole has an event horizon - the surface at which even light cannot escape its gravitational grasp - with a diameter of approximately 130 billion kilometres. This is about 15 times the diameter of Neptune's orbit from the Sun. By comparison, the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way, is believed to have a mass about four million times that of the Sun and an event horizon just one fifth the orbit of Mercury.

But the time when NGC 4889's black hole was swallowing stars and devouring dust is past. Astronomers believe that the gigantic black hole has stopped feeding, and is currently resting after feasting on NGC 4889's cosmic cuisine. The environment within the galaxy is now so peaceful that stars are forming from its remaining gas and orbiting undisturbed around the black hole.

When it was active, NGC 4889's supermassive black hole was fuelled by the process of hot accretion. When galactic material—such as gas, dust and other debris—slowly fell inwards towards the black hole, it accumulated and formed an accretion disc. Orbiting the black hole, this spinning disc of material was accelerated by the black hole's immense gravitational pull and heated to millions of degrees. This heated material also expelled gigantic and very energetic jets. During its active period, astronomers would have classified NGC 4889 as a quasarand the disc around the supermassive black hole would have emitted up to a thousand times the energy output of the Milky Way.

The accretion disc sustained the supermassive black hole's appetite until the nearby supply of galactic material was exhausted. Now, napping quietly as it waits for its next celestial snack, the supermassive black hole is dormant. However its existence allows astronomers to further their knowledge of how and where quasars, these still mysterious and elusive objects, formed in the early days of the Universe.

Although it is impossible to directly observe a black hole—as light cannot escape its gravitational pull—its mass can be indirectly determined. Using instruments on the Keck II Observatory and Gemini North Telescope, astronomers measured the velocity of the stars moving around NGC 4889's centre. These velocities—which depend on the mass of the object they orbit—revealed the immense mass of the supermassive black hole.


This is a pretty cool find...not only to hear about the sheer size of the BH, but the fact that it is no longer "sucking in" matter and stars are budding around it. Is this something newly discovered about BH's not pulling in matter? You would think of that size there would be a mass gravitational pull inwards, but as reported it is not doing this. I wonder why?

Awesome regardless

edit on 12-2-2016 by Skywatcher2011 because: added note




posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 11:10 AM
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It is theory that a gravity well does stop pulling in objects. This usually is just before the black hole lets lose a ginormous pulsar blast from its "north and south poles". A "burp" of inconceivable energy.

edit on 12-2-2016 by Gothmog because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 11:17 AM
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a reply to: Skywatcher2011


Is this something newly discovered about BH's not pulling in matter? You would think of that size there would be a mass gravitational pull inwards, but as reported it is not doing this. I wonder why?



It's not new at all. There are black holes or super massive black holes at the centre of every galaxy. Eventually they find equilibrium with everything around them.



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 11:56 AM
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a reply to: Skywatcher2011

It seems, from what is written in the article, that rather than having ceased pulling matter toward itself, it has stopped consuming matter, because there is not a build up of matter upon which it might feast.

So it is not the case that the black hole is passing up a meal, more that it has run out of immediately consumable morsels, and will no doubt begin to consume again, the moment a significant streak of matter and or energy passes inside its area of strongest influence. I doubt very much whether matter which was falling directly toward the thing from a long orbit, would be passed up, if it were to present itself.



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 11:59 AM
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There's a Black Hole in the centre of our own Galaxy, but we're not going to get pulled in, any day soon.

I really hope one day that they discover what the universe is all about. It won't be in any of our lifetimes, and it may never happen, But I really do hope it does.



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 12:59 PM
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a reply to: Skywatcher2011

Awesome alright.

Elliptical galaxies are about to get a lot more popular methinks after the discovery of gravy waves (you heard it hear first ATS) as Elliptical galaxies are older and so are their stars. If I may put on my tinfoil hat for a second the size of a black hole could determine the shape of a galaxy.



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 01:38 PM
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Fascinating..

and 300 million light years.. yikes..

That is 1,759,708,800,000,000,000,000 miles away.

Road trip anyone?



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 02:12 PM
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originally posted by: boncho
a reply to: Skywatcher2011


Is this something newly discovered about BH's not pulling in matter? You would think of that size there would be a mass gravitational pull inwards, but as reported it is not doing this. I wonder why?



It's not new at all. There are black holes or super massive black holes at the centre of every galaxy. Eventually they find equilibrium with everything around them.


Correct.

As I mentioned in another thread, if our Sun suddenly turned into a black hole right now (with the same mass as the Sun has now), Earth would still orbit it in the same way as it does now, because the new "black hole sun" would have the same mass, hence the same gravity, as it does now. Earth would not suddenly get sucked in. As you said, a black hole eventually finds equilibrium with the stuff around it, just like our Sun found equilibrium with the stuff around it, resulting in the orbits of the planets we have today.

And if the Sun suddenly became a black hole, it would still have the same gravitational effect on the earth as it does now, so the earth would just keep on keeping on, as if the Sun were still the Sun.

Granted, if an object got too close to this new "black hole Sun" (within the event horizon, a few miles from the center of the black hole), it would be inescapably captured. However, that won't happen with the Earth being 93 million miles away. The equilibrium the planets have settled into with the Sun would still apply.



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 02:49 PM
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originally posted by: Cygnis
Fascinating..

and 300 million light years.. yikes..

That is 1,759,708,800,000,000,000,000 miles away.

Road trip anyone?



If you can afford the gas, count me in



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 03:18 PM
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a reply to: Skywatcher2011

It still has the same mass and gravitational pull it always did, it has just consumed all the nearby materials already.

Nothing about it changed except all its food is at present beyond its reach.

That is what is meant.



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 03:23 PM
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originally posted by: Thecakeisalie
a reply to: Skywatcher2011

Awesome alright.

Elliptical galaxies are about to get a lot more popular methinks after the discovery of gravy waves (you heard it hear first ATS) as Elliptical galaxies are older and so are their stars. If I may put on my tinfoil hat for a second the size of a black hole could determine the shape of a galaxy.



Elliptical galaxies are just galaxies that have combined with other galaxies.

The black hole has nothing to do with it.

It is the result of 2 or more spiral galaxies passing through eachother and then swirling around and finally coalescing into one elliptical galaxy.



posted on Feb, 13 2016 @ 11:32 AM
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a reply to: Sargeras

Can you share some links so we can explore further into that theory?




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