After 19 years, scientists have finally identified an ultramassive black hole that was previously detected as a strange arc in data, highlighting the continuing mystery and difficulty in studying these elusive objects.
Discovery of a new ultramassive black hole, one of the largest known objects in the universe, offers exciting opportunities for researchers to expand their knowledge.
According to James Nightingale, lead author of a new study, the recently discovered black hole, with a mass of around 30 billion times that of our Sun, is among the largest ever detected and at the limit of how massive black holes can possibly be.
This newly discovered ultramassive black hole was detected through gravitational lensing, a method that produced a strange arc in the data, marking the first time a black hole has been identified in this way.
Gravitational lensing acts like a telescope by bending and magnifying light passing through a massive object, helping scientists observe distant celestial bodies like exoplanets that are otherwise difficult to study.
Using gravitational lensing, scientists determined that a galaxy with a black hole at its center contains an ultramassive black hole weighing around 30 billion solar masses.
Gravitational lensing discovery of ultramassive black hole raises hope for finding more black holes and studying their evolution using the same method, according to Nightingale.