Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Galaxy M87 Most Massive Black Hole Find

Texas-Size Computer Finds Most Massive Black Hole In Galaxy M87

The illustration shows the relationship between the mass of a galaxy's central black hole and the mass of its central bulge. The new higher mass Gebhardt and Thomas computer modeled for M87's black hole, 6.4 billion solar masses, could change this relationship. They used a more complete computer model than previous work. This may mean that the black holes in all nearby massive galaxies are more massive than we think, signaling a change in our understanding of the relationship between a black hole and its surrounding galaxy. Credit: Tim Jones/UT-Austin after K. Cordes and S. Brown (STScI).

by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (SPX) Jun 09, 2009

Astronomers Karl Gebhardt (The University of Texas at Austin) and Jens Thomas (Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics) have used new computer modeling techniques to discover that the black hole at the heart of M87, one the largest nearby giant galaxies, is two to three times more massive than previously thought.
Weighing in at 6.4 billion times the Sun's mass, it is the most massive black hole yet measured with a robust technique, and suggests that the accepted black hole masses in nearby large galaxies may be off by similar amounts. This has consequences for theories of how galaxies form and grow, and might even solve a long-standing astronomical paradox.

Gebhardt will detail these results in a press conference June 8 at 12 Noon PDT at the 214th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Pasadena, Calif. They will be published later this summer in The Astrophysical Journal, in a paper by Gebhardt and Thomas.

See entire article at: Massive Black Hole

For more articles on Outer Space, see our Squidoo Lens at: We Are In Outer Space

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