An international team of astronomers has discovered two gigantic black holes with masses about 10 billion times the mass of our sun. These black holes have a mass more than 50 per cent greater than any other previously measured.
“They may be the dormant remains of quasars that were extremely luminous billions of years ago,” says Professor James Graham, director of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, and founding member of the team behind the discovery.
“Black holes inhabit the centres of nearly all galaxies − the centre of our very own Milky Way galaxy harbours a black hole four million times the mass of the sun − relatively speaking, a baby! But only a few dozens of these black holes have been ‘weighed’ carefully,” says Graham.
“But these newly-measured black hole masses are a surprise,” says Graham. “They are significantly more massive than predicted using the previously known correlations. Something that we had not anticipated for the most massive black holes must be at play here.”
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