MAY 31, 2016 8:48 AM PDT

Black Hole Found to Have Mass of 660 Million Suns in Measurements

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Black holes are some of the most misunderstood objects of the universe. Little is known about them, and it seems our theories about them change from day to day.
 
Nevertheless, what we do know about them is that they’re big and they’re invisible unless they’re travelling across light, in which the gravitational pull from the black hole actually bends the light rays and gives anything behind it (from our perspective) a weird glass lens distortion effect.

A supermassive black hole around 73 million light years away has had its mass measured by astronomers.

Scientists recently had the opportunity to measure the mass of a supermassive black hole around 73 million light years away from Earth inside of the galaxy NGC 1332. They had used the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) to come up with the measurements they took.
 
The findings, which appear in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, reveal that the supermassive black hole has an astoundingly high amount of mass packed into a small package.
 
The mass was measured at 660 million times the mass of our Sun. To put that into perspective, the Sun has a mass of 1.989 x 1030 kilograms, or 330,000 times the mass of our Earth.
 
Yeah… that’s a lot of mass, especially for just one black hole. On the other hand, it was a supermassive black hole, which is just a little different than your average black hole. These kinds of black holes are larger than your average ones and are typically found at the center of galaxies.
 
Moreover, it’s believed to have a cloud of gas moving around it at an excess of 1.1 million miles per hour.
 
"This is the first time that ALMA has probed the orbital motion of cold molecular gas well inside the gravitational sphere of influence of a supermassive black hole," Aaron Barth, an author from the University of California, Irvine said in a statement. "We are directly viewing the region where the cold gas is responding to the black hole's gravitational pull."
 
The findings are thought to be some of the most accurate measurements of a black hole’s mass to date, and the scientists behind the findings hope that the numbers will help us to better understand black holes, and even our universe in general.

Source: UCI, Rutgers

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 24, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 24, 2019
Spacewalking Astronauts Attempt to Fix AMS-02's Cooling System
When you’re an astronaut at the International Space Station, being asked to take on risky spacewalk missions is par for the course. In just the last
JAN 21, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 21, 2020
Here's Why SpaceX Blew Up a Falcon 9 Rocket in Mid-Air
SpaceX completed a substantial milestone for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program this week, an undertaking that involved one of the commercial space compa
FEB 04, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 04, 2020
What Are NASA's 'Great Observatories?'
NASA recently retired its Spitzer Space Telescope, one of four specialized space-based observatories that together made up the American Space Agency’
FEB 17, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 17, 2020
SpaceX Launches More Starlink Satellites, But Fails First Stage Landing
SpaceX launched yet another one of its renowned Falcon 9 rockets on Monday, this time carrying a plethora of its Starlin...
MAR 03, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 03, 2020
What Makes Black Holes So Mysterious?
Black holes are mysterious objects that have long tickled the interest of astronomers and physicists alike. They’re often described as ultra-dense ob
MAR 29, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 29, 2020
United States Space Force Launches First Mission
Despite all the measures that are currently in place to keep as much of the general public away from public places as possible in this time of COVID-19-cen
Loading Comments...