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Wagamaga OP t1_je4xswa wrote

A team of British researchers has made an exciting discovery in the great inky black of space: a gigantic black hole is roughly 30 billion times the mass of our Sun.

Something that large is almost unfathomable to the brain of the Average Joe, but thankfully space boffins at Durham University have been busily studying the cosmos and all the secrets she keeps hidden from us.

The findings, described by the research team as 'extremely exciting' have been published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Durham University Astronomer James Nightingale and lead author of the study said: "This particular black hole is roughly 30 billion times the mass of our Sun.


magicbaconmachine t1_je51oia wrote

Are these maybe common since we are just starting to have technology to detect them. Are we possibly surrounded by these massive beats?


KetosisMD t1_je53298 wrote

> mass of 30 billion suns

That’s a lot IMO.


DoyoureadmeHAL t1_je5hrt3 wrote

So it says “mass” of the sun but then they mention “something that large” implying size. I’m a dummy but those are two different things right. It could be the size of a baseball and be 30 billion times the mass of the sun. No?


zoinkability t1_je5powt wrote

There is a direct relationship between the mass of a black hole and the size of its event horizon. if you know the one, you know the other. So if a black hole is the highest mass ever seen, it would also be the largest in terms of its event horizon.

That said, inside the event horizon we simply can't know what goes on. So the "actual size" (meaning, how much space the matter inside the black hole occupies) is, I believe, simply unknown.


afrothunder1987 t1_je5tkye wrote

For reference, Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way is 4.3 million times the mass of the sun.

At 30 billion times the mass of the sun this thing is….. big

Ultra massive black holes like this present a problem for science. Accretion disks can only become so hot, dense, and energetic around black holes before they radiate so much energy that they keep themselves from falling into a black hole above a certain rate. There is effectively a limit to how fast black holes can grow.

These super/ultra massive black holes are bigger than it should be possible for them to be, even if they experienced max growth rate constantly from the birth of the universe.

So how did they get that big?

A cool theory is that when the universe was young, dense, and hot, enormous stars formed that were so massive their cores compressed into black holes. And because these black holes are surrounded by a star which is constantly crushing matter into it, the black holes basically get force fed. The accretion disk energy is overwhelmed by the crushing pressure from the gigantic Star.

It’s a fun theory.


VoDoka t1_je5xau3 wrote

Yea, I like can't even imagine the size of the sun to begin with...


TheDolphinGod t1_je60yet wrote

Well, assuming an elephant weight of 10,000lb, the sun weighs approximately 4.385 septillion elephants. This black hole then would equal the mass of 1.3155x10^37 elephants, or 13,155,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, AKA 13.155 Undecillion elephants.

Hope this helps.


hellhoundtheone t1_je63tyu wrote

you have to wach many Dokus to get the meassures that are behind Our universe. the more you learn about it the more you get a feeling how big things out there. but its still Hard to get a feeling for it


desepticon t1_je6bc8v wrote

Is it at the center of a dense cluster or just some random galaxy?


TomSurman t1_je6mqsc wrote

Still not the biggest black hole we know of. That would be Ton 618, weighing in at 66 billion suns. 30 billion is still ridiculously huge though. There are galaxies with less mass than that.


amitym t1_je6yb8t wrote

Based on a random internet Schwarzchild Radius calculator, at 30Bn times Solar mass, that would put the event horizon at an equivalent distance of about 15 times further than Pluto. Anyone in orbit just above the event horizon would move at about 6km / s, roughly comparable to low Earth orbital velocity, and would be subject to only 50 gees -- hard to escape from but not impossible, also not nearly enough to cause "spaghettification," or appreciable time dilation either.

Aside from being fried by the hard radiation pouring out from right under you, sounds quite livable! You'd never have to worry about getting too cold, anyway.


nich3play3r t1_je6z0s7 wrote

To me, the most amazing thing about this discovery is contemplating why God ever created such a thing in the first place.


afrothunder1987 t1_je71qja wrote

Well this is all theory but possibly! Could be that two galaxies with overly large black holes merged and the black holes combined. Or maybe the star that force fed this particular black hole was just way larger than normal.


TomSurman t1_je72ctx wrote

Wikipedia lists two bigger ones, but says the data is unreliable. Their estimated masses are greater than the theoretical maximum a black hole should have been able to reach in a universe this young.


EchoedTruth t1_je72emn wrote

I think on a scale of what we know of the cosmos... "God" is beyond comprehension.


If it is a sentient being it exists beyond our dimension and to have any affect on this universe would have to be absolutely massive on the scale of multiple universes.


beatvox t1_je7473m wrote

since lensing can cause field of view to be enlarged, could it be smaller than initial estimates?


B4SSF4C3 t1_je74lnf wrote

Right, size has no meaning we can relate to. Space time collapsed to a singularity. They very much mean mass.

Although now that I think about it, not sure if mass has meaning either at that point? Is it “mass equivalent” effect on surrounding space time?


Muvlon t1_je7f7cf wrote

> Anyone in orbit just above the event horizon would move at about 6km / s, roughly comparable to low Earth orbital velocity, and would be subject to only 50 gees

Wait, what? Wouldn't they be subject to 0 gees, seeing as they're in orbit, i.e. experiencing no acceleration?


SpererZero t1_je7gh63 wrote

Put it this way, tho typing a little slower would allow me to better spell words, you still got the information that I put forward. Why in that situation should I improve if I would just be accomplishing the same task but slower? Edit: in that case, is it even an improvement?


N8CCRG t1_je7gl29 wrote

The challenge is that in order to get 30 billion times more massive than the sun requires a whole lot more than "a few". It requires tens of thousands to millions of mergers of already supersized black holes. I doubt anyone would say impossible, but it's definitely worth considering other explanations as well.


SpererZero t1_je7h2t6 wrote

Joke, and no, it was absolutely my fault. Just saying, if the message was conveyed...right? Maybe I am dumb but my goal wasn't to sound smart, it was to convey a message, which I did.


B4SSF4C3 t1_je7hqy2 wrote

You are referencing event horizon, not the singularity. But I suppose I’ll agree that if considering the overall black hole phenomena, the event horizon would be a more logical “edge” to reference.


kingp43x t1_je7hxiz wrote

our friend here has been on a little break it seems, still killer numbers tho!


10,487,397 post karma

270,421 comment karma


honeybadger9 t1_je7kh2e wrote

Should stop gate keeping science. A theory is an idea based on a general understanding of something. If this and this happens at this scale, then it's possible for this to happen at a larger or smaller scale.

A theory is just an idea that could be possible but hasn't been proven yet.


iborobotosis23 t1_je7kwk7 wrote

I'll give you a few (link).

"But", you'll say, "I see the word theory right there!" You're quite right it is in there. But that is not the context in which the word should be used when discussing scientific topics. When using theory in a scientific discussion it's meant to convey the most certain scientists can be on a statement. This is not true based of a little more reading on theories and laws. Oopsie, my bad!


amitym t1_je7mice wrote

Yes, practically speaking, but under a steep enough gravitational gradient you can no longer ignore the difference between, for example, the gravity acting on your head versus your feet. Or one end of a structure versus another. That's what causes "spaghettification" for example.

However in this case the gravitational gradient is still pretty shallow, as far as I can tell.


Plan-B-Rip-and-Tear t1_je7p075 wrote

Astronauts in low earth orbit still feel like they are falling the whole time. Orbit means your velocity perpendicular to the action of gravity matches the rate you would be falling otherwise, resulting in you following a circular path/orbit around the object.

Same principle the vomit comet plane uses, except parallel to earths gravity instead of perpendicular. The plane loses altitude at the same rate you would fall due to gravity, so inside the cabin it’s as if you are weightless. But you feel the acceleration the whole time.


endlessupending t1_je81374 wrote

I mean it’s like mass of 1/3 of stars in the Milky Way assuming each is 1 sol. When you got all these big bois in a small room it’s gonna be like a clash of the titans. It’s not inconceivable that the early universe could accommodate that mergerpalooza scenario.perhaps some shot off and became the galactic cores of most galaxies.


Aeseld t1_je840it wrote

"What actually transpires beneath the veil of an event horizon? Decent people shouldn't think too much about that."

Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "For I Have Tasted The Fruit"


amitym t1_je89s60 wrote

It doesn't have to do with inertia. Astronauts orbiting Earth feel like they're falling, instead of feeling like they're being extruded into a thin bloody dribble, because the pull of gravity is effectively the same at their feet as it is at their heads.

That's not the case when very close outside the Schwarzchild radius of smaller black holes. But at 30 billion solar masses, the Schwarzchild radius is so far out from the singularity that the gravitational gradient is, as around Earth, negligible.


Plan-B-Rip-and-Tear t1_je8cb19 wrote

I really should have responded to the poster you were responding to rather than you as that’s the question I intended to address about feeling 0 g’s, not gravitational gradients on intermediate and stellar sized black holes.


AioliFantastic4105 t1_je8qjbt wrote

A theory among ancient astronaut theorists is these black holes are giant alien garbage disposals


eatabean t1_je8w9w0 wrote

The abstract says "outside the local universe..." What is considered to be the boundary of the local universe?


Muvlon t1_je90mb6 wrote

Right, but those are tidal forces, and how much of those you experience depends not only on what your orbit looks like but also on how big you are (and how you're oriented). So I'm not sure how you arrived at the 50G number, there must be some hidden assumptions.


amitym t1_jea7h3g wrote

It's the gravitational acceleration at that distance from a body of that mass, at least based on the random internet calculator I used. (~500 m/s^(2))

Under that kind of gravity, it doesn't really matter how big you are or what your orientation is. The gradient isn't going to be enough to spaghettify you. It might matter if you want to build a large structure in close orbit around the black hole, but even then, a reasonably sized, properly engineered steel-reinforced structure should be able to handle that level of stress.


amitym t1_jea8msl wrote

Yes, and it will of course be slightly less than that in an orbit just outside the event horizon.

But escape velocity isn't the same as local orbital velocity, right? Escape velocity is the speed you have to start out at if you want to coast the rest of the way and still escape the orbit of your primary. Your orbital velocity in your local frame of reference should be much less than the speed of light in this case.

So you should be able to exit your secret black hole lair through gradual velocity changes, from continuous acceleration or other means. The reason I mention that is that it seems technologically somewhat more feasible than stipulating, "okay well first off, you start by going at the speed of light...."


Brooklington t1_jee3lxg wrote

The technique used to detect the black hole in this case is to use a model to predict what the image would look like with and without the black hole. The model that fits the data best is consistent with a black hole of the size quoted.