Black holes can grow to enormous sizes. A new study claims that black holes can reach “colossal large” sizes, gaining a mass of 100 billion solars.
A group of scientists from the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich suggests that black holes can reach “colossal large” sizes – each of them has a mass of 100 billion suns or more. The discovery of such black holes could reveal more about the nature of much of the dark matter, which makes up four-fifths of the matter in the universe, the researchers say.
At the center of most, if not all, galaxies are supermassive black holes with masses millions or billions of times the mass of the Sun. For example, in the center of our galaxy is Sagittarius A *, whose mass is about 4.5 million solars.
Currently, the largest known black hole feeding the TON 618 quasar has a mass of 66 billion solar masses. The sheer mass of TON 618 has led scientists to wonder if large black holes still exist and if there is an upper limit to their size.
Scientists have calculated that black holes can be 100 billion times more massive than the Sun, but this is not the limit. They called these hypothetical objects “colossally massive” or “colossally large” black holes. The researchers also noted that there is currently no evidence that such black holes actually exist.
The researchers speculate that such black holes in the hearts of galaxies form as small black holes that merge and absorb matter around them. However, previous research has shown that this model ran into difficulties in explaining how black holes could reach supermassive sizes when the universe was only a few billion years old.
“It is surprising that little attention has been paid to the possible existence of stepped massive black holes,” said study co-author Florian Kuehnel.