Alright, so this is pretty much old news, but I wanted to write about it anyway. So this massive black hole at the center of a quasar was discovered recently, said to be as massive as 18 billion of our Suns. Now, I’m kind of confused about when this was discovered, because even though I’ve been seeing it in the news in the past month, all the articles I read are dated 2008 and 2007, so this might be really old news.
Technically, you can’t observe a black hole directly because it swallows up everything around it, including light, making it… well black, against a backdrop of black space, making them pretty hard to spot. So how can you tell how big this thing is? Well, click on the picture and read on, but believe it or not, there’s a smaller black hole orbiting around the big one, and twice a ‘year’, it goes through the disc of matter surrounding the large one, creating a burst of light/energy that can be measured from Earth. With countless measurements, the data can infer the size of the larger black hole without ever actually ‘seeing’ it.
I thought that was pretty cool, and no worries, it doesn’t look like it’ll swallowing us up anytime soon.