IRAS 20100-4156
IRAS 20100-4156 NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team/AURA/B. Whitmore et al.

Black hole 3 billion times bigger than our sun discovered

THREE colliding spiral galaxies 1.8 billion light years from Earth have produced a monster black hole weighing in at 3 billion times the mass of the Sun.

The surprise discovery, which was triggered by a routine testing of a new telescope, has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

"The black hole at the centre of our galaxy is only 4 million solar masses, so this one is a monster in comparison," said lead author, Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith from CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science.

In 1989, the Nature journal reported an observation of gas called an astrophysical maser in the far away galaxy IRAS 20100-4156.

This galaxy is actually a trio of galaxies, which are in the process of colliding, and the black holes in their centres are merging to form a supermassive black hole.

Read more at ABC News Online

And now for some context:

4 million seconds from now (May 27, 2016) is Sunday, June 12, 2016.

3 billion seconds from now (May 27, 2016) is Friday, May 22, 2111

The black hole at the centre of our galaxy is similar to a month compared to this new black hole's near century.



Unusually hot: Temperatures to nudge 30 degrees

premium_icon Unusually hot: Temperatures to nudge 30 degrees

From the coldest day of the month straight into hot winter weather

Family ask why police stopped searching for Damien so soon

Family ask why police stopped searching for Damien so soon

"Damien was a devoted father ... his passing has devastated us all"

Sorry Queensland, but you're missing out (again)

Sorry Queensland, but you're missing out (again)

Over the border they're debating daylight saving for the 657th time

Local Partners