Scientists at the University of Texas say they’ve discovered the most massive black hole ever identified.
It sits in the center of a galaxy called NGC 1277. It has a mass equivalent to about 17 billion suns.
Doctor Karl Gebhardt is an astrophysicist at UT, and a member of the team that made the discovery. He says their finding could help us better understand the way galaxies are formed.
“It really is the chicken and the egg problem as to what comes first, the black hole or the galaxy," said Gebhardt. "And this object, NGC 1277 is really pushing that to a deep understanding as to what is going on.”
The discovery was made using the Hobby-Eberly Telescope at UT’s McDonald Observatory in West Texas.
The team’s findings will appear tomorrow in the journal Nature.