Over 40 Quintillion Black Holes Are in the Observable Universe, New Estimate Finds
Over 40 Quintillion Black Holes Are in the Observable Universe, New Estimate Finds.
A team of astrophysicists has calculated the number of stellar-mass black holes in the observable universe to be 40 quintillion, accounting for 1% of the total ordinary matter in the universe.
The researchers focus on stellar-mass black holes, the smallest-known variety, but note that their calculations could help address the longstanding mystery of how supermassive black holes proliferated.
Their research is published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
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For a long time, black holes were only theorized to exist and had never been observed—as their name suggests, they don’t let light escape their gravitational pull.
But astronomers have figured out that black holes are at the center of large concentrations of light-emitting matter (our own Milky Way features a supermassive black hole at its center).