Black holes can grow to truly monstrous sizes. The new study claims that black holes can reach “colossal large” sizes, gaining a mass of 100 billion solar masses and even more.
The discovery of such giant black holes could shed light on the nature of much of dark matter, which makes up four-fifths of the matter in the universe, the researchers said.
At the center of most, if not all, galaxies are supermassive black holes / Their mass is millions or billions of times the mass of our Sun, which, in turn, weighs 332,982 times the Earth (1.9891 x 1030 kg). For example, in the center of our Milky Way galaxy is Sagittarius A *, which has a mass of about 4.5 million solar.
Currently, the largest known black hole (quasar TON 618) has a mass of 66 billion solar. The sheer mass of TON 618 has led scientists to wonder if there are even larger black holes, and if there is any limit to their size.
In a new study, scientists have calculated that black holes can be 100 billion times more massive than the Sun, but this is not the limit. They called these hypothetical holes “colossally massive” or “colossally large” black holes. The researchers also noted that there is currently no evidence that such black holes actually exist.
“It’s amazing that so little attention has so far been paid to the possible existence of colossally massive black holes, because they could exist in principle,” said study co-author, theoretical cosmologist Florian Kuehnel of Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich.