What do you think, how big can be a black hole? Recently astronomers have discovered the largest of all currently known black holes in the center of a supermassive galaxies Abell 85 and its size is 40 billion times the mass of the Sun. Researchers believe that the galaxy Abell 85 was formed as a result of clashes at least eight smaller galaxies. This is because in space there are places superclusters of galaxies, where collisions are not uncommon. The results of the study will be published in the Astrophysical journal. A Preprint of the work can be found here.
By the way, Stephen Hawking did not rule out the possibility that black holes may be portals to other universes
The authors of the new study found that Holm 15A — huge galaxy at the center of the cluster of galaxies (Abell 85) must be formed as a result of yet another merger of two already huge elliptical galaxies. It means that Holm 15A is a combination of at least eight spiral galaxies, the collision and merger which occurred billions of years. This series of mergers has created a black hole in the center of the galaxy. The monster, about the size of our Solar system and its mass exceeds the mass of 40 billion suns.
Huge black holes may solve the mystery of quasars
Scientists are very excited at the discovery of the most massive black hole ever known. The fact is that due to the obtained results, in the future astronomers will be able to better understand quasars — the brightest class of astronomical objects, including distant galaxies, which are massive black holes. These cosmic monsters emit a huge amount of light in the process of absorption of nearby objects. Researchers believe that some of the most distant quasars are so bright that their centres should exist black holes exceeding the mass of our Sun over 10 billion times. The discovery of such a large black hole at the center of the supercluster of galaxies confirms the idea about how quasars and elliptical galaxies. Recall that in September NASA released a video which depicts the everyday life details of some of the most mysterious cosmic objects.