back to article GIGANTIC galaxy-chomping black hole rips boffins a new one

A team of astroboffins from ETH Zurich's Institute for Astronomy have discovered an enormous black hole that shouldn't exist. The black hole is one of the largest ever recorded, the equivalent of about seven billion the mass of our Sun. It resides in the heart of galaxy CID-947, which is around 11 billion light years away, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scientists just love to be corrected

    It's how they roll.

    1. WalterAlter

      Re: Scientists just love to be corrected

      When mathematicians believe in their own fairy tales:

  2. LaeMing

    Yo black hole so big...

  3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    The Mario Draghi Galaxy: Enormously Holey

    which is why such massive holes on normal galaxies aren't seen closer to Earth

    It don't see it.

    That kind of reasoning applies to evanescent objects, like early-universe hypernovas, but black holes have staying power in timeframes of a few billion years.

    1. Chris Miller

      Re: The Mario Draghi Galaxy: Enormously Holey

      I don't have access to Science, but my guess would be that we don't tend to see active black holes in nearby galaxies. Black holes of several billion solar masses will easily outlast the rest of the universe - Hawking radiation is insignificant at such sizes, in fact it's currently (and for the very long-term future) outweighed by the gain in mass from the cosmic microwave background.

  4. caffeine addict Silver badge

    See, that's just typical of modern funding of astrophysics. In any other field, you'd be allowed up to date data, but oh no, astrophysics has to shamble along with 11 billion year old data sets. Even the dinosaur lot are allowed newer data than that, and everyone hates them...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      YES! We need an update of those data sets, stat!! Talking about that, I recently had a lunch with a nice indian chap, I hear they can provide, for a low fee ...

  5. Sceptic Tank


    You think that's big? Wait until you see the size of the hole my career is in at the moment.

  6. Ralph the Wonder Llama

    There's something heartening...

    ...about seeing an astro-boffin use the word "ginormous".

    1. Jim 43

      Re: There's something heartening...

      You should visit an Astronomy On Tap event if you get the chance.

    2. The last doughnut

      Re: There's something heartening...

      Indeed I hope it will be added to the OED before the heat death of the universe.

  7. Cthugha

    they haven't got a clue and are making it up as they go along....

    1. Sir Sham Cad

      Re: haven't got a clue

      How do you think Science works?

      We don't know something so we come up with a testable (falsifiable) hypothesis to suggest a mechanism for what we observe happening to happen. Through observation we test the hypothesis. If it seems to fit, we have a theory for how the happening happens. If not we bin it and try again. Then we observe an outlier case that challenges our theory so we come up with a falsifiable hypothesis/refinement to the theory to take into account the new observation and then we test it again. If it then fits the current cases we know about including the new outlier data we consider the theory updated and improved if it passes peer review and others are able to repeat the test with the same results. If, as is likely, in the case that in the repeat of the test, often with better equipment, we see something else curious that doesn't seem to be explained by the current, updated theory, we go again. Eventually we end up with a theory/model that very accurately explains and predicts natural phenomena.

      "Making it up as you go along" is the magical thinking usually reserved for spiritual or supernatural realms of human consideration that are, by definition, outside the scope of Science.

      "Starting from first principles" is the logical thinking that is part of the scientific method of starting investigating a phenomena when you haven't got a clue. And it works!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just another edge case.

  9. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    "gigantic black hole within a normal size galaxy"

    perhaps a few billion years ago it was a "moderately large black hole within a large galaxy" that became a binge eater.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "gigantic black hole within a normal size galaxy"

      Which came first, the massive black hole or the galaxy? Seems like the new data indicates the black hole came first, likely from a supercritical clumping of dark matter. You can't form such a massive black hole that early from an infall of normal matter, there is blowback from the accretion disk and jets which limit

      further growth.

  10. jonnycando

    Ancient History

    11 billion light years away? That means you are seeing that far into the past. That whole galaxy may have been slurped up by that black hole by now.

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