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Scientists discover black hole that is 12 billion times larger than the Sun

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Meet black hole SDS J1010013.02

Researchers in China have discovered a massive black hole that is 12 billion times the size of the sun. 12 billion times as big as our gigantic Sun! For reference, a billion is a thousand million or 1 with nine zeroes after it. If you counted every second of your life, you’d only live a bit longer than 2 billion SECONDS. A billion pennies stacked on top of each other would reach 870 miles into the sky. The black hole they found is larger than any of its age ever found.

A black hole is a dense region of space that has collapsed in on itself in a way that nothing can escape – not even light. This one was given the typical goofy astronomer name – SDS J010013.02 – and is believed to be only 900 million years old. Scientists do not yet understand how a black hole of this size could have formed in the early Universe.

What is a black hole?

A black hole is a region of space that has collapsed in on itself where the gravitational pull is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape. The gravity is so strong because the matter is so densely packed that it creates a deep well in the fabric of space-time. Once something crosses the event horizon, the point of no return, it will be consumed by the black hole.

Black holes come in different sizes, ranging from staller mass to supermassive. Stellar mass black holes are formed when a massive star runs out of fuel and collapses under its own gravity, while supermassive black holes are found in the centers of galaxies and can have billions of times the mass of our sun.

Despite their name, black holes are not actually black. As matter falls into a black hole, it heats up and emits radiation, which can be detected by astronomers. This radiation is known as Hawking radiation, named after the physicist Stephen Hawking, who first predicted its existence.

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