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M87′s Obese Black Hole: A Step Closer to the Event Horizon Telescope

12 Jan 2011, 23:27 UTC
M87′s Obese Black Hole: A Step Closer to the Event Horizon Telescope
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Fresh from the Department Of I Really Shouldn’t Have Eaten That Last Binary, astronomers attending the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle, Wash., have announced a supermassive black hole residing inside the nearby galaxy M87 has a weight problem. In fact, this galactic behemoth is obese. With a mass of 6.6 billion suns, it is [...]

The black hole lurking inside galaxy M87 has a mass of 6.6 billion suns, according to today's announcement (NASA)
Fresh from the Department Of I Really Shouldn’t Have Eaten That Last Binary, astronomers attending the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle, Wash., have announced a supermassive black hole residing inside the nearby galaxy M87 has a weight problem.
In fact, this galactic behemoth is obese.
With a mass of 6.6 billion suns, it is the biggest black hole in our cosmic neighborhood. “It’s almost on top of us, relatively speaking. Fifty million light-years — that’s our backyard effectively. To have one so large, that’s kind of extreme,” astronomer Karl Gebhardt, with the University of Texas at Austin, told Discovery News. The black hole’s mass was arrived at after Gebhardt’s team tracked the motions of the stars near the black hole using ...

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