New Delhi: This could actually be considered a breakthrough in space research! US space agency NASA has revealed that astronomers have discovered a near-record breaking supermassive black hole, weighing 17 billion suns, in the center of a galaxy in a sparsely populated area of the universe.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and Gemini Telescope in Hawaii that have been beaming back stunning images of the universe in all its glory and have also been responsible for many significant revelations, take the cake for this one too!
This discovery may be an indication that these monster objects may be more in number than what was once believed.
Up till now, the biggest supermassive black holes, that are roughly 10 billion times the mass of our sun, have been harboured in the heart of enormous galaxies in regions of the universe enveloped with other large galaxies.
As per NASA, the current record holder tips the scale at 21 billion suns and resides in the crowded Coma galaxy cluster that consists of over 1,000 galaxies.
NASA went on to quote lead discoverer Chung-Pei Ma, a University of California-Berkeley astronomer and head of the MASSIVE Survey, a study of the most massive galaxies and supermassive black holes in the local universe, who said that, “The newly discovered supersized black hole resides in the center of a massive elliptical galaxy, NGC 1600, located in a cosmic backwater, a small grouping of 20 or so galaxies. There are quite a few galaxies the size of NGC 1600 that reside in average-size galaxy groups.”