Gargantuan Black Hole Baffles Scientists

Gargantuan Black Hole Baffles Scientists

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Astronomers on the hunt for supermassive black holes have discovered one so monstrous that its mass dominates the central hub of its galaxy in a way that defies scientists’ expectations about how typical black holes behave. Described in the journal Nature, the black hole may push theorists to revamp their ideas of how these mysterious structures grow and evolve.

Astrophysicists said they were scratching their heads at how thoroughly this gargantuan black hole — seated in the galaxy NGC 1277, about 220 million light-years away — hogs its galactic bed. Supermassive black holes typically account for just 0.1% of the mass in a galaxy’s stellar bulge, the cluster of older stars huddled around the center. This particular black hole, by contrast, takes up 59% of that central mass, shattering the previous record of 11%.

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