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Fri Jul 3, 2020, 11:15 AM

Most massive black hole yet discovered redefines 'gargantuan'

From https://astronomynow.com/2020/07/01/most-massive-black-hole-yet-discovered-redefines-gargantuan/

Most massive black hole yet discovered redefines ‘gargantuan’

1 July 2020 Astronomy Now

Astronomers have found one of the most massive black holes yet discovered, one that is gargantuan by even astronomical standards. Known as J2157, the enormous black hole weighs in at 34 billion times the mass of the Sun and is consuming the mass of a normal star on a daily basis.

“The black hole’s mass is also about 8,000 times bigger than the black hole in the centre of the Milky Way,” said Christopher Onken, a researcher at The Australian National University. “If the Milky Way’s black hole wanted to grow that fat, it would have to swallow two thirds of all the stars in our galaxy.”

The black hole was discovered by Onken and his colleagues in 2018. The observations indicate it dates back to about 1.2 billion years after the Big Bang and is the most massive yet “weighed” from this era of cosmic evolution.

The ANU team and researchers from the University of Arizona used the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope to measure the black hole’s mass.

From https://academic.oup.com/mnras/article/496/2/2309/5863959

A thirty-four billion solar mass black hole in SMSS J2157–3602, the most luminous known quasar

Christopher A Onken, Fuyan Bian, Xiaohui Fan, Feige Wang, Christian Wolf, Jinyi Yang Author
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 496, Issue 2, August 2020, Pages 2309–2314, https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/staa1635
Published: 30 June 2020
Article history

From near-infrared spectroscopic measurements of the Mg II emission line doublet, we estimate the black hole (BH) mass of the quasar, SMSS J215728.21–360215.1, as being (3.4 ± 0.6) × 1010 M⊙ and refine the redshift of the quasar to be z = 4.692. SMSS J2157 is the most luminous known quasar, with a 3000 Å luminosity of (4.7 ± 0.5) × 1047 erg s−1 and an estimated bolometric luminosity of 1.6 × 1048 erg s−1, yet its Eddington ratio is only ∼0.4. Thus, the high luminosity of this quasar is a consequence of its extremely large BH – one of the most massive BHs at z > 4.


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