Astronomers have discovered the most massive, for the time being, object in the universe. This is a supermassive black hole at the center of Galaxy NGC 1277 in the constellation of Perseus. The black hole is 228 million light years far from Earth.
The discovery was made by a group of German scientists from the Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg during the analysis of the images of the galaxy obtained with the Infrared Spectrometer Telescope Hobby-Eberly. The black hole in the constellation of Perseus contains a huge amount of matter - from 14 to 20 billion masses of our Sun, the Rossiyskaya Gazeta wrote.
According to the scientists, it goes about the mass of more than 14 percent of the mass of the whole galaxy, whereas normally supermassive black holes comprise about 0.1 percent. Previously, the heaviest object in the Universe was a black hole in Galaxy NGC 4889, whose mass is 9.8 billion solar masses.
"This is a really oddball galaxy. It's almost all black hole. This could be the first object in a new class of galaxy-black hole systems," professor Karl Gebhardt said.
According to the researchers, the results can change the theory of the formation and growth of black holes.
Astrophysicists believe that the center of the majority of massive galaxies always contains at least one black hole. The nature of the formation of these objects is not entirely clear. It is believed that black holes are formed during limitless gravitational compression, often after the death of massive stars. They create a highly strong gravitational pull, and no substance, not even light, can come out of them.