NASA has released a new animation showing some of the billions of supermassive black holes in the universe, the black holes that are at the center of most, if not all, galaxies.
In the clip, which can be found below, they begin by showing the supermassive black hole in the “small” dwarf galaxy J1601+3113, which has a mass equivalent to 100,000 of our own sun. Despite its enormous mass, the material in the black hole is so compressed that the size of the black hole is smaller than our own sun.
As the animation continues, the supermassive black holes in the Circinus galaxy, M32 galaxy, and Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole in our own galaxy, are shown. Next, two supermassive black holes from the NGC 7727 galaxy, two black holes with masses equivalent to 6 million and 150 million suns, respectively, are presented. They are 1,600 light-years apart, but astronomers believe they will collide and form an even larger black hole in about 250 million years.
At the end of the animation, supermassive black holes from our neighboring Andromeda galaxy, the Cygnus A galaxy, and the black hole in the M87 galaxy, the first black hole that researchers have ever photographed, are shown. Lastly, an illustration of the supermassive black hole in the TON 618 galaxy, a black hole with a mass equivalent to 60 billion suns, is displayed.