A Black Hole can be big or small depending on numerous factors as cited by scientists. Whereby, scientists think the smallest black holes are as small as just one atom. These black holes are very tiny but have the mass of a large mountain. Mass is the amount of matter, or “stuff,” in an object.
But, this huge galaxy of our outer space has the biggest black hole ever measured. The monster black hole in the galaxy cluster Abell 85 is roughly the size of our solar system. And it packs the mass of 40 billion suns.
Another kind of black hole is called “Stellar.” Its mass can be up to 20 times more than the mass of the sun. There may be many, many stellar-mass black holes in Earth’s galaxy. That’s why the Earth’s galaxy is called the Milky Way Galaxy.
On the other hand, the largest black holes are called “Supermassive.” These black holes have masses that are more than 1 million suns together. Scientists have found proof that every large galaxy contains a supermassive black hole at its center.
Not forgetting, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy is called Sagittarius A. It has a mass equal to about 4 million suns. Meaning, it would fit inside a very large ball that could hold a few million Earths.
What is a Black Hole?
According to NASA, a black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out. The gravity is so strong because the matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This particularly happens when a star starts to die or is dying. Because no light can get out, people can’t see black holes and so they are invisible.
Fortunately, space telescopes with special tools can help find black holes. The special tools can see how stars that are very close to black holes act differently than other stars. Scientists think the smallest black holes formed when the universe began.
Equally important, scientists think supermassive black holes were made at the same time as the galaxy they are in. And as an example, Stellar Black Holes are made when the center of a very big star falls in upon itself or collapses.
When this happens, it causes a supernova. A supernova is an exploding star that blasts part of the star into space. And if you are wondering since the sun is not a big enough star, it would never turn into a black hole.
If they’re “Black,” How do Scientists find them?
Of course, Yes! A black hole can not be seen with our naked eyes neither can it be seen using simple telescopes. Simply, because strong gravity pulls all of the light into the middle. But, scientists can see how strong gravity affects the stars and the gas surrounding them.
By so doing, scientists can study stars to find out if they are flying around, or orbiting, a black hole. And when a black hole and a star are close together, high-energy light is made. That’s why this kind of light can not be seen with human eyes. So, scientists use satellites and high-resolution telescopes in space to see the high-energy light.
It’s important to realize, black holes do not go around in space eating stars, moons, and planets. Fortunately, Earth as we all know it won’t fall into a black hole. Obviously, because none of them is close enough to the solar system for Earth to do that.
Even if a black hole the same mass as the sun were to take the place of the sun, Earth still would not fall in. The reason being that it would have the same gravity as the sun. This means that the Earth and the other planets would orbit it as they orbit the sun now.
How are Monster Galaxies formed?
When two spiral galaxies — like our Milky Way and the nearby Andromeda Galaxy — collide, they can merge and form an elliptical galaxy. In crowded environments like galaxy clusters, these elliptical galaxies can collide and merge again to form an even larger elliptical galaxy.
Their central black holes combine as well and make larger black holes, which can kick huge swaths of nearby stars out to the edges of the newly formed galaxy.
The resulting extra-large elliptical galaxy usually doesn’t have much gas from which to form new stars. So, its center looks pretty bare after its black hole kicks out nearby stars. Astronomers call these huge elliptical galaxies with faint centers “cored galaxies.” Massive cored galaxies often sit in the centers of galaxy clusters.
A team of researchers has reported that they have found convincing evidence for the existence of Intermediate-Mass Black Hole (IMBH). Intermediate-Mass Black Holes belong to a class of black holes with the mass significantly more than stellar black holes but less than supermassive black holes.
Several discoveries have claimed evidence for the existence of IMBH but the recent report published in Nature more or less confirms the existence of IMBH. And more specifically, in 47 Tucanae with a mass measuring between 1,400 and 3,700 solar masses. Read and learn more here.
- Supermassive Black Hole Sagittarius A
- Andromeda galaxy, closest large spiral
- Milky Way Galaxy: Facts About Our Galactic Home
- Albert Einstein | What does Modern Physics Mean?
- A Rare Kind of Black Hole May Be Wandering Around Our Milky Way