50 Billion Suns! -The Biggest Single Object in the Universe -A Galaxy Insight

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September 04, 2008

50 Billion Suns! -The Biggest Single Object in the Universe -A Galaxy Insight

Black_hole Scientists have determined the mass of the largest things that could possibly exist in our universe.  New results have placed an upper limit on the current size of black holes - and at fifty billion suns it's pretty damn big.  That's a hundred thousand tredagrams, and you'll never get the chance to use that word in relation to anything else.

Black holes are regions of space where matter is so dense that regular physics just breaks down.  You might think physical laws are immutable - you can't get out of gravitational attraction the same way you can get out of a speeding ticket - but beyond a certain level laws which determine how matter is regulated are simply overloaded and material is crushed down into something that's less an object and more a region of altered space.

While there's theoretically no upper limit on how big a black hole can be, there are hard limits on how big they could have become by now.  The universe has only existed for a finite amount of time, and even the most voracious black hole can only suck in matter at a certain rate.  The bigger the black hole, the bigger the gravitational field and the faster it can pull in matter - but that same huge gravitational gradient means that the same matter can release huge amounts of radiation as it falls, blasting other matter further away.

Based on this self-regulating maximum rate, scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Massachusetts, and the European Southern Observatory, Chile, have calculated an upper limit for these mega-mammoth masses.  Fifty billion suns, that's 100 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 kg, otherwise known as "ridiculously stupidly big" and triple the size of the largest observed black hole, OJ 287.

There are potential problems with this calculation.  Based as it is on the radiation outflow from a black hole, new discoveries could change this estimate - though only from "insanely massive" to "ridiculously ginormous."

Posted by Luke McKinney.

Related Galaxy posts:

18 Billion Suns -A Galaxy Classic: Biggest Black Hole in Universe Discovered—and it’s BIG
Neutron Stars: New Discovery Proves Einstein's Space-Time Predictions
Mystery Neutron Star Discovered
Andromeda Galaxy & Its Mystery Core: Destined to Merge With the Milky Way?
Neutron Stars & The Physics of Star Trek
New, Revised Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Black Holes Key to Mapping the Evolution of the Universe
NASA Finds Bizarre Planet-Mass Orbiting Neutron Star in the Constellation Sagittarius
The Milky Way's X Factor: Rogue Planet Devouring Black Holes

Sources:

Upper limit on black hole size
The biggest black hole yet seen

Comments

...i...i just dont know what to say.. thats friggin huge!

@ jimbo:

THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID >.<

I can't find what power a treda- is to. The largest thing I can find online is a yotta- which is 10^24.

Wow, that must be where all the souls of the republican's have been sucked into. Probably big enough to explain the lack of brain matter as well.

Happy Landings, Nepharous

"Scientists have determined the mass of the largest things that could possibly exist in our universe, and they don't appear in the Oprah studio audience. "

What does this sentence mean? Are you trying to make a fat joke? Is Oprah's audience notably overweight?

Seriously, I can't parse this.

Wow dude, that is totally insane. No doubt that is big!

www.anonymize.kr.tc

Based on the number of zeroes(39) add 3 since it was listed in kg. Then a tedra gram must be 10^42 power.

How exacly do you calculate the weight of objects in space?

Wow. That's crazy heavy. They must have used some heavy computing power to come up with that number.

You are right about the zeroes. It is 10^39 grams or 10^36 kilograms.

Still remember the times when in school my teacher told me that the sun was the biggest star on the galaxy.... he was so wrong....

I think there is a type-o. I'm pretty sure you meant asshole instead of black hole when referring to OJ...

WOW NOW THAT IS TOTALLY AWESOME!DUDES!!! =)

they dont know anything. All there spaced based caculations and age determination, is based of of how far they can see in opposite directions, assuming that we are the center of it all.
HOW ARROGANT.
Sound like the same people who tried saying the earth was flat.
If we really are the center of all that exists, then we would be pretty special and would not need to understand anything more.

@jasp

uhhh, no you are wrong. That is not how they do the calculations, go learn some calculus and some physics before you start spreading stupid around. The calculations are based around the changes in energy density in relation to frequency, and also by the shift in color between different stars because space is expanding uniformly everywhere, so it's not pretending we are the center of everything.

Pretty crazy to look at something that large, and still think there is only one planet with intelligent life... Wonderful Article

And which Planet would that be exactly? The one with the intelligent life I mean.....

It certainly isn't Earth.

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