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Space

Black Hole At Center of Milky Way Confirmed 392

Smivs writes "The BBC are reporting that a German team has confirmed the existence of a Black Hole at the center of the Milky Way. Astronomers tracked the movement of 28 stars circling the center of the Milky Way, using the 3.5m New Technology Telescope and the 8.2m Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. Both are operated by the European Southern Observatory (Eso). The black hole is four million times heavier than our Sun, according to the paper in The Astrophysical Journal. According to Dr Robert Massey, of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), the results suggest that galaxies form around giant black holes in the way that a pearl forms around grit."
Space

Black Holes May Not Grow Beyond Certain Limit 201

xyz writes "Do black holes increase in size indefinitely? According to an analysis by astronomers at Yale and the European Southern Observatory, the maximum size a black hole may reach is only few tens of billion of solar masses. The limit was calculated using an analysis of what may happen to the gas surrounding a black hole which has reached few tens of billions of solar masses. It is thought that black holes of such size heat the surrounding gas to a temperature where the radiation pressure begins blowing outer layers into space."
Space

Largest Black Hole Measured 170

porkpickle tips us to a BBC article on the quasar OJ287, a binary object containing largest black hole yet discovered, weighing in at 18 billion times the mass of Sol. Researchers were able to estimate its mass due to the presence of a smaller black hole in orbit around it. When the smaller companion's orbit intersects OJ287's accretion disk, once every 12 years, it triggers a burst of radiation that was detected by the Spitzer Space Telescope. More detail and a diagram are available on the Turku University site.

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