IRAS 20100-4156
IRAS 20100-4156 NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team/AURA/B. Whitmore et al.

Black hole 3 billion times bigger than our sun discovered

THREE colliding spiral galaxies 1.8 billion light years from Earth have produced a monster black hole weighing in at 3 billion times the mass of the Sun.

The surprise discovery, which was triggered by a routine testing of a new telescope, has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

"The black hole at the centre of our galaxy is only 4 million solar masses, so this one is a monster in comparison," said lead author, Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith from CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science.

In 1989, the Nature journal reported an observation of gas called an astrophysical maser in the far away galaxy IRAS 20100-4156.

This galaxy is actually a trio of galaxies, which are in the process of colliding, and the black holes in their centres are merging to form a supermassive black hole.

Read more at ABC News Online

And now for some context:

4 million seconds from now (May 27, 2016) is Sunday, June 12, 2016.

3 billion seconds from now (May 27, 2016) is Friday, May 22, 2111

The black hole at the centre of our galaxy is similar to a month compared to this new black hole's near century.


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