Neighboring black hole puts on weight

Neighboring black hole puts on weight

Galaxy M87's massive heart far weighs as much as 6.6 billion suns

By Ron Cowen, 18:07 PM January 12, 2011

SEATTLE — Astronomers have determined with high precision that the black hole at the heart of the nearby galaxy M87 weighs the equivalent of 6.6 billion suns. The finding makes the monster the most massive known in Earth’s cosmic neighborhood and the heaviest black hole measured so far using the orbits of stars.

More than doubling a widely accepted estimate, the new M87 measurement for the first time puts the mass of a local supermassive black hole — some 50 million light-years from Earth —...

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