Black Hole

Nestled in the NGC 4889 galaxy is a black hole that’s fairly large.

The supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy is roughly 21 billion times larger than our Sun. Its event horizon has a diameter that spans approximately 130 billion kilometers, or so says the European Space Agency.

NGC 4889

The image above is of the NGC 4889 region.

The European Space Agency discussed the large black hole in a statement.

This is about 15 times the diameter of Neptune’s orbit from the Sun. By comparison, the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way, is believed to have a mass about four million times that of the Sun and an event horizon just one fifth the orbit of Mercury.

Interestingly, the black hole is currently in a state of resting. That is, galactic material is no longer falling into the black hole. Here’s the Agency again.

When it was active, NGC 4889’s supermassive black hole was fuelled by the process of hot accretion. When galactic material — such as gas, dust and other debris — slowly fell inwards towards the black hole, it accumulated and formed an accretion disc…

Orbiting the black hole, this spinning disc of material was accelerated by the black hole’s immense gravitational pull and heated to millions of degrees. This heated material also expelled gigantic and very energetic jets. During its active period, astronomers would have classified NGC 4889 as a quasar and the disc around the supermassive black hole would have emitted up to a thousand times the energy output of the Milky Way.

As the black hole has settled, the environment around the NGC 4889 region is “peaceful” enough that “stars are forming from its remaining gas and orbiting undisturbed around the black hole.”