Black holes can be of various sizes and can be formed through different processes. The smallest type of black holes are known as primordial black holes, which are believed to have formed in the early Universe and can be as tiny as an atom. Stellar black holes, on the other hand, are created when massive stars collapse and can range from several times the mass of the sun up to a few tens of times the mass of our sun. Supermassive black holes, which are located at the centers of galaxies, can range in mass from millions to billions of times the mass of the sun.
A team of astronomers has discovered what may be the largest black hole ever found using a technique called gravitational lensing. The ultramassive black hole, which is located in the Abell 1201 galaxy cluster, has a mass of over 30 billion suns, according to space.com.
This is an exceptional finding as it is much larger than the typical supermassive black holes found at the centers of galaxies. The discovery was made possible by the foreground galaxy, which acted as a magnifying glass, allowing astronomers to observe the background galaxy in greater detail and determine the presence of the ultramassive black hole at its center.
It’s teeming with black holes out there!
It is currently unknown exactly how many black holes exist in the Milky Way galaxy or the Universe as a whole. However, astronomers estimate that there are likely millions or even billions of black holes in our galaxy alone. This estimation is based on observations of the movements of stars and gas around massive invisible objects, which are believed to be black holes.
As for the Universe, there is no definitive number of black holes due to their elusive nature. It is difficult to detect them directly as they do not emit any visible light or other forms of radiation. However, scientists can infer their presence by observing the effects of their gravitational pull on surrounding matter. Some estimates suggest that there may be even trillions of black holes in the observable Universe.
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