For the First Time Ever, A Black Hole Revealed

The idea of a black hole–a body so massive that not even light could escape it–was first theorized back in 1784 by English clergyman John Michell.  However, it wasn’t until 1915 when Albert Einstein developed his theory of general relativity that the momentum of black hole research would take shape.  Black holes have fascinated not just scientists but also the general public.  They have been the source of inspiration for numerous books, songs, movies, etc.  But we’ve only been able to see them conceptualized via some form of animation.  In fact, the idea of ever seeing one was deemed impossible.  That is, until now.

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Meet the Black Hole 21 Billion Times the Mass of Our Sun

ngc 4889

It is believed that the black hole at the center of our own Milky Way Galaxy, Sagittarius A, is 4 million solar masses.  This is the the most massive object in our galaxy.  Even so, it is dwarfed in comparison with the black hole located at the center of NGC 4889, a galaxy 308 million light-years away at the center of the Coma Cluster.  This elliptical galaxy is one of the brightest and largest galaxies in the Coma Cluster, and even though it doesn’t display much activity, it contains a black hole with a mass 21 billion times that of our Sun.

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