Researchers Spot a Dormant Black Hole

A team of researchers spotted a dormant black hole. The supermassive object has the mass of 21 billion Suns, and it was identified with the help of the Hubble Space Telescope.

The dormant black hole is located at an approximate distance of 300 million light-years away, residing in the Coma Cluster. It is the center of a galaxy which has been classified as the largest and brightest object ever detected.

According to the European Space Agency, the supermassive black hole is spread across 80 million miles (or 130 million kilometers), up to 15 times the size of the orbit followed by Neptune. The black hole located at the center of the Milky Way is considerably smaller, with a  mass which is up to 4 million times heavier than the Sun.

It is thought that the prime period of the black hole has passed after consuming a large number of the stars located in its home galaxy, known as NGC 4889. Within the galaxy the environment is stable, and stars can form freely without being influenced by the black hole.

When a black hole is active, it generates a powerful gravitational pull which attracts stellar material. This phenomenon is called hot accretion, and it encourages cosmic dust and gas to form a spinning disk around the black hole. An accretion disk can reach speeds close to that of light while generating an impressive amount of heat. During the spinning process some of the material can be pushed into space as a relativistic jet.

During the active period, the black hole could have been classified as a quasar as the disk which surrounds it would have generated an incredible amount of energy. After the reserve of galactic material was consumed the accretion disk started to slow down until it became dormant. However, it is theorized that such black holes could awaken if enough materials would reach it.

More data will be offered in the future.