Women of STEM

Astronomers believe they have discovered a supermassive black hole located 700 million light-years from Earth — it has a mass 40 billion times that of the Sun.

The black hole resides in Holmberg 15A, a so-called supergiant elliptical galaxy located within a group of over 500 galaxies called Abell 85, according to SciNews.

“This is the most massive black hole with a direct dynamical detection in the local Universe,” the researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and University Observatory Munich told the publication.

“This makes it the most massive in our region of the universe, and one of the most massive ever found.”

— Andrew Coates, astronomer

“This black hole is not only one of the most massive known, it is also 4 to 9 times larger than expected given the galaxy’s bulge stellar mass,” they said.

his supermassive black hole is twice as large as two other huge black holes, scientists noted.

“This is a remarkable observation of an extremely massive black hole at 40 billion solar masses. This makes it the most massive in our region of the universe, and one of the most massive ever found,” Andrew Coates, from University College London’s Department of Space and Climate Physics, told Newsweek.

The work was completed by astronomer Kianusch Mehrgan and her colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and University Observatory Munich.

The findings will be published in the Astrophysical Journal.

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