Colossal Black Hole Equal to 17 Billion Suns Discovered --May Overturn Existing Models
Follow the Daily Galaxy
Add Daily Galaxy to igoogle page AddThis Feed Button Join The Daily Galaxy Group on Facebook Follow The Daily Galaxy Group on twitter

« Discovery of Mercury's Water Ice Points to Complex Organics | Main | EcoAlert: Forty-Seven ESA/NASA Experts Warn of Increasing Ice Melt & Rising Sea Levels »

November 30, 2012

Colossal Black Hole Equal to 17 Billion Suns Discovered --May Overturn Existing Models



           Lenticular galaxy NGC 1277


A group of astronomers led by Remco van den Bosch from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) have discovered a black hole that could shake the foundations of current models of galaxy evolution. The Hubble image above shows the small, flattened disk galaxy NGC 1277, which contains one of the biggest central super-massive black holes ever found in its center. With the mass of 17 billion Suns, the black hole weighs in at an extraordinary 14% of the total galaxy mass --a mass much greater than current models predict — in particular in relation to the mass of its host galaxy. This could be the most massive black hole found to date. Astronomers would have expected a black hole of this size inside blob-like (“elliptical”) galaxies ten times larger. Instead, this black hole sits inside a fairly small disk galaxy.

If the additional candidates are confirmed, astronomers will need to rethink fundamentally their models of galaxy evolution. In particular, they will need to look at the early universe: The galaxy hosting the new black hole appears to have formed more than 8 billion years ago, and does not appear to have changed much since then. Whatever created this giant black hole must have happened a long time ago.

To the best of our astronomical knowledge, almost every galaxy should contain in its central region what is called a supermassive black hole: a black hole with a mass between that of hundreds of thousands and billions of Suns. The best-studied super-massive black hole sits in the center of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, with a mass of about four million Suns.

NGC 1277 is embedded in the nearby Perseus galaxy cluster, at a distance of 250 million light-years from Earth. All the ellipticals and round yellow galaxies in the image below are galaxies located in this cluster. Compared to all the other galaxies around it, NGC 1277 is a relatively compact. (Credit: David W. Hogg, Michael Blanton, and the SDSS Collaboration)




For the masses of galaxies and their central black holes, an intriguing trend has emerged: a direct relationship between the mass of a galaxy’s black hole and that of the galaxy’s stars.Typically, the black hole mass is a tiny fraction of the galaxy’s total mass. But now a search led by the Dutch astronomer Remco van den Bosch (MPIA) has discovered a massive black hole that could upset the accepted relationship between black hole mass and galaxy mass, which plays a key role in all current theories of galaxy evolution.

With a mass 17 billion times that of the Sun, the newly discovered black hole in the center of the disk galaxy NGC 1277 might even be the biggest known black hole of all: the mass of the current record holder is estimated to lie between 6 and 37 billion solar masses. The big surprise is that the black hole mass for NGC 1277 amounts to 14% of the total galaxy mass, instead of usual values around 0.1%.

Is this surprisingly massive black hole a freak accident? Preliminary analysis of additional data suggests otherwise — so far, the search has uncovered five additional galaxies that are comparatively small, yet, going by first estimates, seemed to harbor unusually large black holes too. More definite conclusions have to await detailed images of these galaxies.

(NGC 1277 is a compact disk galaxy with one of the biggest black holes known to date. Its black hole weighs 17 billion times the mass of the Sun, which amounts to a remarkable 14% of this galaxy’s total mass. Most of the stars in the galaxy are strongly affected by the gravitational pull of this black hole. The black hole was found by van den Bosch and collaborators and published in Nature on 29 November 2012.




The animation above shows representative orbits of the galaxy’s stars in this, taken from the dynamical model that was used to measure the black hole mass. The green orbit shows the orbit of the stars in the disk. The red orbit shows the strong gravitational pull near the black hole. The blue orbit is strongly influenced by the (round) dark matter halo. One second in this animation represents 22 million years of simulated time, and the horizontal size of this image amounts to 41 million lightyears (36 arcsec).

Remco C. E. van den Bosch et al., An over-massive black hole in the compact lenticular galaxy NGC 1277, Nature, 2012, DOI: 10.1038/nature11592

The Daily Galaxy via The Max Planck Institute




Credit: NASA/ESA /Andrew C. Fabian/Remco C. E. van den Bosch (MPIA)


Can Positive and negative grow Independently?, I think the Answer is Yes!, one thing I can say is that the time in which we can base the Beginning of some of this big findings, it's one more Prove of "Intelligent Design". This isn't one more assumption of a Religious Fanatic.

My perception it's telling me that the rejuvenation of the Cosmos begins with the 180 turn, The true Human race has begun to trace, in an effort to get ready of all the waste we have produce, mainly by not fallowing, the straight and narrow path, requested by our creator, not just to get to heaven and have Eternal Life, but also for Man to acquired the true Human qualities, learn experience it and exercises then, before we can truly be accepted and become part of God Human Race. Can this be the end of all man-made Religions, Sects and Cults? I think!....,

Black holes are exclusively mathematical.

Actually no, they are mathematical in the sense that you can explain there position and size, various other criteria using math. Then you get to the singularity and regular mathematics cannot explain what is happening there. At least not as we currently understand it. Maybe some day far in the future we will be able to explain it using math but as for right now, no.

to Matt.
Do you know that in the case of BH, it was backwards science? First, mathematicians spawned a notion of BH, then astronomers started searching for them. Not only did their search turned up nothing, it is impossible to find something, which cannot exist in the known reality. It's like searching for parallel lines, that cross or searching for god.

Its true you cannot directly observe a black hole, only its effect on its surroundings. The old theory being as it gives off no light to be observed. However i think that has changed and we now know that they in fact do give off some light as they feed? I'm no expert by any means and i'm sure some astronomy student could elaborate on our more current level of understanding in this field. We have learned quite a bit of new things about them in just the past few years. We know that super massive black holes form at or were simply born at the center of every galaxy which is amazing in and of itself. Whether or not they were kicked out along with everything else in the big bang or simply formed as a result of massive amounts of dying stars is an interesting question.

What are referred to as black holes are actually Bennett pinches or "Z" pinches. There are billions of these things. Stuff goes into them, gets shredded to its essence by ever-tightening lines of magnetic force, accelerated to near light-speed by a double-layered helical structure, then spat out the other side as a particle of some sort.

Coming out, the particles reorient themselves into a structure that becomes a building block for a new world.

We sometimes see these things laying on their side and amaze ourselves at how they can create such an intense level of activity near their center. All this is explained by the laws of physics governing plasma.

In fact, plasma physicists can create, in the laborator, all the phenomena observed in the universe.

It is a very sad shame that they can't get more exposure for their arguments.

Your own camp fire maybe? Just need some ordinary matter to toss in and you have an instant power plant. Makes a great radio beacon too. Wake up, humans and smell the "universal" coffee.

Instead, this black hole sits inside a fairly small disk galaxy.

eureka i have the equation for a black hole gp

So basically all galaxies formed around what were MASSIVE MASSIVE STARS in the very early universe. Since stars makes up everything that we are atomically, it's not too far fetched to think that the earliest stars' deaths led to the formation of black holes. which led to the formation of galaxies around said black holes. the rest is history. Now to figure out this damn singularity thing.

No one knows when time started.

We keep hearing that BHs have the mass of X amount of suns. Mass can't even exist in a BH past the event horizon for it turns into pure energy when the acceleration produces a velocity equal to c. Therefore BHs are pure energy, not a speck of mass inside the event horizon. It's the pure self encapsulating or self sequestering energy that affects space/time to ONLY ELUDE to gravity and since this illusion of gravity simulates the effect of mass, we are calling it mass or "sun equivalent" etc.. I hope this year we can stop calling BHs mass and call them something else such as "energy equivalents to mass" or something like that to get us away from calling BHs mass. To me it's so clear.

Correction to my post above, sorry, "even horizon" meant "event horizon". Bad editing on my part..pardon me.

Mike Cook, thanks for your post, and yes, we already know the first stars were huge hydrogen stars formed of high concentrations of the primordial element, H (with a smidgen of He), and of course being huge, likely much larger than existing "huge" stars, they formed "huge" BHs when they died a quick violent death having used up their H up to Fe...and yep they created all other elements alright. We owe ourselves to those first massive stars. It is also likely since the universe was young and jam packed like a traffic jam with "stuff" including the first stars, gravitational tugs like crazy, fast and furious at that, that these massive BHs coalesced into yet more massive ones, also with masses of neutron cannon balls talked about in another feature story here in, and these mergers upon mergers we see today as odd balls they are so huge. Quasars may have formed like this...mergers of OR just the remnants of the first huge stars.

Post a comment

« Discovery of Mercury's Water Ice Points to Complex Organics | Main | EcoAlert: Forty-Seven ESA/NASA Experts Warn of Increasing Ice Melt & Rising Sea Levels »















Our Partners

technology partners




About Us/Privacy Policy

For more information on The Daily Galaxy and to contact us please visit this page.