Rare & Record-Breaking Black HolesWhile even the most “normal” black hole seems exotic compared...

Rare & Record-Breaking Black HolesWhile even the most “normal” black hole seems exotic compared to the tranquil objects in our solar system, there are some record-breaking oddballs. Tag along as we look at the biggest, closest, farthest, and even “spinniest” black holes discovered in the universe … that we know of right now!Located 700 million light-years away in the galaxy Holmberg 15A, astronomers found a black hole that is a whopping 40 billion times the mass of the Sun — setting the record for the biggest black hole found so far. On the other hand, the smallest known black hole isn’t quite so easy to pinpoint. There are several black holes with masses around five times that of our Sun. There’s even one candidate with just two and a half times the Sun’s mass, but scientists aren’t sure whether it’s the smallest known black hole or actually the heaviest known neutron star!You may need to take a seat for this one. The black hole GRS 1915+105 will make you dizzier than an afternoon at an amusement park, as it spins over 1,000 times per second! Maybe even more bizarre than how fast this black hole is spinning is what it means for a black hole to spin at all! What we’re actually measuring is how strongly the black hole drags the space-time right outside its event horizon — the point where nothing can escape. Yikes!If you’re from Earth, the closest black hole that we know of right now, Mon X-1 in the constellation Monoceros, is about 3,000 light-years away. But never fear — that’s still really far away! The farthest known black hole is J0313-1806. The light from its surroundings took a whopping 13 billion years to get to us! And with the universe constantly expanding, that distance continues to grow.So, we know about large (supermassive, hundreds of thousands to billions of times the Sun’s mass) and small (stellar-mass, five to dozens of times the Sun’s mass) black holes, but what about other sizes? Though rare, astronomers have found a couple that seem to fit in between and call them intermediate-mass black holes. As for tiny ones, primordial black holes, there is a possibility that they were around when the universe got its start — but there’s not enough evidence so far to prove that they exist!One thing that’s on astronomers’ wishlist is to see two supermassive black holes crashing into one another. Unfortunately, that event hasn’t been detected — yet! It could be only a matter of time before one reveals itself.Though these are the records now, in early 2021 … records are meant to be broken, so who knows what we’ll find next!Add some of these records and rare finds to your black hole-watch list, grab your handy-dandy black hole field guide to learn even more about them — and get to searching!Keep up with NASA Universe on Facebook and Twitter where we post regularly about black holes.Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

Rare & Record-Breaking Black HolesWhile even the most “normal” black hole seems exotic compared...

Rare & Record-Breaking Black Holes

While even the most “normal” black hole seems exotic compared to the tranquil objects in our solar system, there are some record-breaking oddballs. Tag along as we look at the biggest, closest, farthest, and even “spinniest” black holes discovered in the universe … that we know of right now!

Located 700 million light-years away in the galaxy Holmberg 15A, astronomers found a black hole that is a whopping 40 billion times the mass of the Sun — setting the record for the biggest black hole found so far. On the other hand, the smallest known black hole isn’t quite so easy to pinpoint. There are several black holes with masses around five times that of our Sun. There’s even one candidate with just two and a half times the Sun’s mass, but scientists aren’t sure whether it’s the smallest known black hole or actually the heaviest known neutron star!

You may need to take a seat for this one. The black hole GRS 1915+105 will make you dizzier than an afternoon at an amusement park, as it spins over 1,000 times per second! Maybe even more bizarre than how fast this black hole is spinning is what it means for a black hole to spin at all! What we’re actually measuring is how strongly the black hole drags the space-time right outside its event horizon — the point where nothing can escape. Yikes!

If you’re from Earth, the closest black hole that we know of right now, Mon X-1 in the constellation Monoceros, is about 3,000 light-years away. But never fear — that’s still really far away! The farthest known black hole is J0313-1806. The light from its surroundings took a whopping 13 billion years to get to us! And with the universe constantly expanding, that distance continues to grow.

So, we know about large (supermassive, hundreds of thousands to billions of times the Sun’s mass) and small (stellar-mass, five to dozens of times the Sun’s mass) black holes, but what about other sizes? Though rare, astronomers have found a couple that seem to fit in between and call them intermediate-mass black holes. As for tiny ones, primordial black holes, there is a possibility that they were around when the universe got its start — but there’s not enough evidence so far to prove that they exist!

One thing that’s on astronomers’ wishlist is to see two supermassive black holes crashing into one another. Unfortunately, that event hasn’t been detected — yet! It could be only a matter of time before one reveals itself.

Though these are the records now, in early 2021 … records are meant to be broken, so who knows what we’ll find next!

Add some of these records and rare finds to your black hole-watch list, grab your handy-dandy black hole field guide to learn even more about them — and get to searching!

Keep up with NASA Universe on Facebook and Twitter where we post regularly about black holes.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

Source : NASA More