NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope made a significant discovery on April 7, 2023, when it captured evidence of a massive black hole lurking in the depths of the universe. This extraordinary discovery adds to the lengthy list of black holes previously discovered by NASA and expands our knowledge of these mysterious celestial objects.
Has NASA discovered a black hole before?
The discovery of black holes by NASA dates back to the 1970s. Using various observatories and space telescopes, such as the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Swift Gamma-ray Burst Explorer, and the Hubble Space Telescope, the space agency has discovered numerous black holes over time. The most recent discovery, made on April 7, 2023, strengthens NASA’s longstanding role in identifying these celestial phenomena.
The largest black hole discovered by NASA
Prior to the discovery made on April 7, 2023, the greatest black hole discovered by NASA was TON 618, a supermassive black hole located at the centre of a distant galaxy. It is one of the most colossal black holes ever discovered, with an estimated mass of approximately 66 billion solar masses.
The largest ever encountered black hole
The black hole in the galaxy cluster Abell 85, which was identified in 2019, holds the record for the largest black hole ever discovered. This colossal black hole, designated Holm 15A, has a mass approximately 100 billion times that of our Sun. Even though the recent black hole discovered by Hubble is unquestionably enormous, it has not yet surpassed Holm 15A in size.
NASA has discovered its first black hole.
The first black hole discovered by NASA was Cygnus X-1, a stellar-mass black hole located in the Cygnus constellation, in 1971. The Uhuru satellite, which was predominantly designed to explore the universe in X-ray wavelengths, was used to make this groundbreaking observation. Since then, Cygnus X-1 has been extensively studied and has played a crucial role in advancing our understanding of black holes and their characteristics.
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope’s discovery of a massive black hole on April 7, 2023, demonstrates the sustained significance of space exploration in revealing the secrets of the universe. As our comprehension of these mysterious cosmic entities grows, we are able to fathom the universe we inhabit better. Each new discovery brings us one step closer to understanding the mysteries of the universe and our place in it.