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article imageAstronomers discover enormous black hole size of 6 billion suns

By Andrew Moran     Jan 14, 2011 in Science
Washington - Astronomers in the United States have discovered a gigantic black hole in a nearby galaxy that has a million times the mass of our sun. This provides evidence that black holes can form before the creation of galaxies.
For those of you who fell asleep in science class back in junior high or high school, a black hole is a part of space where nothing, including photons of light, can escape. Quantum physics states that black holes can emit radiation.
News outlets are labelling the recent black hole discovered as “obese” or “putting on weight,” but the latest discovery could provide evidence that black holes form prior to the creation of galaxies.
According to Science News, astronomers at the American Astronomical Society announced Monday that they have found a black hole in the nearby galaxy M87. The black hole weighs approximately the equivalent of 6.6 billion suns.
“This galaxy gives us important clues about a very early phase of galaxy evolution that has not been observed before,” said researcher at the University of Virginia who presented the findings, Amy Reines, reports Agence-France Presse.
M87 has been studied in-depth for the past several years and scientists have concluded that it is forming stars at a rapid pace. Furthermore, scientists estimate that it resembles some of the first galaxies to form in this particular universe (theoretical physicists hypothesize that we live in an ocean of multiverses).
The black hole is about 50 million light-years away from Earth. Discovery News reports that astronomer Karl Gebhardt of the University of Texas in Austin stated: “It's almost on top of us, relatively speaking. Fifty million light-years -- that's our backyard effectively. To have one so large, that's kind of extreme.”
Findings of the discovery can be found in the upcoming issue of The Astrophysicist Journal.
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