Astronomers discovered a “behemoth” black hole weighing as much as 17 billion suns in a remote part of the universe, according to a report published Wednesday. Black holes are collapsed stars — bottomless pits of gravity from which not even light can escape. The biggest ones are typically located at the center of large galaxies in crowded parts of the universe.
What is surprising about the new discovery is the remote location of the galaxy where it resides. “The newly discovered supersized black hole resides in the center of a massive elliptical galaxy, NGC 1600, located in a cosmic backwater, a small grouping of 20 or so galaxies,” said lead discoverer Chung-Pei Ma, a University of California-Berkeley astronomer. The observations, made by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini Telescope in Hawaii, could indicate these monstrous objects are more common than thought. READ MORE