(ORDO NEWS) — A team of astronomers have discovered one of the world‘s largest black holes thanks to a phenomenon called gravitational lensing.
Curiously, to detect this hole, the researchers did not have to fix the moment when the hole was actively “occupied” by the absorption of a passing star: the presence of a cosmic anomaly in the galaxy gave out a distortion of the light passing through it.
The team took advantage of the phenomenon of gravitational lensing, when another galaxy appeared between the observed object and our telescopes, distorting the light coming from a neighbor in the same way that an ordinary glass lens distorts the light from a microscope lamp, increasing the visible image.
Using computer simulations, scientists calculated the size of a black hole that distorts the light we see, and only when the parameters of the hole reached an impressive mass, 30 billion times greater than the sun, did these models coincide with those actually observed, recorded by terrestrial telescopes.
This is one of the largest holes known to astronomers, and it is on the upper limit of how big such a space object could possibly be according to our calculations.
It is also the first black hole detected using gravitational lensing, which made it possible to fix the presence of an anomaly without additional conditions such as absorption by a black hole of a neighboring star, which would betray its presence with its light.
Scientists hope that by observing other galaxies, we will be able to see even more inactive black holes in the universe. This will provide more information about their appearance and development.
Perhaps in the future people will build even larger and more sensitive telescopes that will give us the opportunity to look into the farthest corners of space and learn even more about black holes, these mysterious anomalies of space-time.
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