The story: In April of 2019, Space Telescope Science Institute astronomer Marc Postman said that when he first first saw the Hubble image of the monster elliptical galaxy galaxy in the Abell 2261 galaxy cluster with a core bigger and brighter than any seen before, he knew immediately that something was odd, that its central core embraced a mystery never before seen. Spanning a little over one million light-years, the galaxy is about ten times the diameter of our own Milky Way galaxy.
Albert Einstein described black holes as strange objects “where God divided by zero.” An international team of astrophysicists has now confirmed that black holes are a distinct “species” from neutron stars, which are comparable to black holes in mass and size but confined within a hard surface. A black hole is an exotic cosmic object without a hard surface predicted by Einstein’s theory of General Relativity and is confined within an invisible boundary, called an event horizon, from within which nothing, not even light, can escape.
A gargantuan black hole, known as J2157, 34 billion times the mass of our sun mass, and about 8,000 times bigger than the black hole in the center of the Milky Way, gorges on nearly the equivalent of one sun every day, according to Dr. Christopher Onken at The Australian National University (ANU) about a monster of the early universe that brings an end to time and space and the laws of physics. If the Milky Way’s black hole wanted to grow to that size, “it would have to swallow two thirds of all the stars in our Galaxy,” he added.
Today’s stories include the Webb Has Snapped an Almost Perfect Einstein Ring to a Black Hole Discovery Reveals Quantum Nature of the Cosmos, and much more.
“We do know that black holes are extraordinary phenomena,” said Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo, professor in the Department of Physics at Université de Montréal about the ultra-massive behemoths lurking at most galaxy centers. “So it’s no surprise that the most extreme specimens defy the rules that we have established up until now.”
The discovery of black holes was the first collision of quantum gravity with general relativity. In 2019, astrophysicists at Ontario’s Western University found evidence for the direct formation of black holes that do not need to emerge from a star remnant. The production of black holes in the early universe, formed from massive seeds aided by gravitational fields soon after the Big Bang, provide scientists with an explanation for what appeared to be the anomaly of extremely massive black holes at a very early stage in the history of our universe.