Monstrous ancient black hole is 12 billion times heavier than the sun

February 26, 2015 10:02 PM

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Monstrous ancient black hole is 12 billion times heavier than the sun

The universe is a huge place, and the numbers used to describe just how mind-bogglingly large things are out there can be hard to grasp on their own. For example, astronomers have recently discovered a black hole in a far away corner of the universe. This black hole isn’t just big — it’s monstrously large and almost impossibly bright. This object, some 12.8 billion light years away, is 420 trillion times more luminous and 12 billion times more massive than the sun.

Regardless of size, a black hole operates on the same principals across all of space and time (as far as we know). When a massive star exhausts its nuclear fuel, it can no longer support itself and its own gravity causes it to collapse. When a star is sufficiently massive (several times larger than ...

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