Thanks to a phenomenon called gravitational lensing, scientists have detected one of the largest black holes ever discovered.
The discovery of one of the largest known black holes, which has a mass of 30 billion times that of the sun, was made possible through the process of gravitational lensing. Gravitational lensing occurs when the gravity of a massive object, like a black hole, bends and distorts the light from objects behind it. In this case, the black hole was located at the center of a distant galaxy, and its gravitational field acted as a lens, magnifying and bending the light from a quasar located even farther away.
Astronomers were able to detect the quasar’s light as it was bent around the black hole, creating a bright and distinctive ring of light known as an Einstein ring. By analyzing the characteristics of the Einstein ring, including its size and shape, scientists were able to estimate the mass of the black hole responsible for the lensing effect.
This discovery provides valuable insights into the formation and growth of supermassive black holes, which are thought to be located at the centers of most galaxies. It also helps to expand our understanding of the role that gravitational lensing can play in astronomical observations, allowing scientists to study distant objects that would otherwise be too faint to detect.
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