On the Hunt for a Missing Giant Black Hole


Dec. 17, 2020

This composite image of Abell 2261.

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The mystery surrounding the whereabouts of a supermassive black hole has deepened.

Despite searching with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have no evidence that a distant black hole estimated to weigh between 3 billion and 100 billion times the mass of the Sun is anywhere to be found.

This missing black hole should be in the enormous galaxy in the center of the galaxy cluster Abell 2261, which is located about 2.7 billion light years from Earth. This composite image of Abell 2261 contains optical data from Hubble and the Subaru Telescope showing galaxies in the cluster and in the background, and Chandra X-ray data showing hot gas (colored pink) pervading the cluster. The middle of the image shows the large elliptical galaxy in the center of the cluster.

Nearly every large galaxy in the Universe contains a supermassive black hole in their center, with a mass that is millions or billions of times that of the Sun. Since the mass of a central black hole usually tracks with the mass of the galaxy itself, astronomers expect the galaxy in the center of Abell 2261 to contain a supermassive black hole that rivals the heft of some of the largest known black holes in the Universe.

Using Chandra data obtained in 1999 and 2004 astronomers had already searched the center of Abell 2261’s large central galaxy for signs of a supermassive black hole. They looked for material that has been superheated as it fell towards the black hole and produced X-rays, but did not detect such a source.

Now, with new, longer Chandra observations obtained in 2018, a team led by Kayhan Gultekin from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor conducted a deeper search for the black hole in the center of the galaxy. They also considered an alternative explanation, in which the black hole was ejected from the host galaxy’s center. This violent event may have resulted from two galaxies merging to form the observed galaxy, accompanied by the central black hole in each galaxy merging to form one enormous black hole.

When black holes merge, they produce ripples in spacetime called gravitational waves. If the huge amount of gravitational waves generated by such an event were stronger in one direction than another, the theory predicts that the new, even more massive black hole would have been sent careening away from the center of the galaxy in the opposite direction. This is called a recoiling black hole.

Astronomers have not found definitive evidence for recoiling black holes and it is not known whether supermassive black holes even get close enough to each other to produce gravitational waves and merge; so far, astronomers have only verified the mergers of much smaller black holes. The detection of recoiling supermassive black holes would embolden scientists using and developing observatories to look for gravitational waves from merging supermassive black holes.

The galaxy at the center of Abell 2261 is an excellent cluster to search for a recoiling black hole because there are two indirect signs that a merger between two massive black holes might have taken place. First, data from the Hubble and Subaru optical observations reveal a galactic core — the central region where the number of stars in the galaxy in a given patch of the galaxy is at or close to the maximum value — that is much larger than expected for a galaxy of its size. The second sign is that the densest concentration of stars in the galaxy is over 2,000 light years away from the center of the galaxy, which is strikingly distant.

These features were first identified by Marc Postman from Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and collaborators in their earlier Hubble and Subaru images, and led them to suggest the idea of a merged black hole in Abell 2261. During a merger, the supermassive black hole in each galaxy sinks toward the center of the newly coalesced galaxy. If they become bound to each other by gravity and their orbit begins to shrink, the black holes are expected to interact with surrounding stars and eject them from the center of the galaxy. This would explain Abell 2261’s large core. The off-center concentration of stars may also have been caused by a violent event such as the merger of two supermassive black holes and subsequent recoil of single, larger black hole that results.

Even though there are clues that a black hole merger took place, neither Chandra nor Hubble data showed evidence for the black hole itself. Gultekin and most of his co-authors, led by Sarah Burke-Spolaor from West Virginia University, had previously used Hubble to look for a clump of stars that might have been carried off by a recoiling black hole. They studied three clumps near the center of the galaxy, and examined whether the motions of stars in these clumps are high enough to suggest they contain a ten billion solar mass black hole. No clear evidence for a black hole was found in two of the clumps and the stars in the other one were too faint to produce useful conclusions.

They also previously studied observations of Abell 2261 with the NSF’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array. Radio emission detected near the center of the galaxy showed evidence that supermassive black hole activity had occurred there 50 million years ago, but does not indicate that the center of the galaxy currently contains such a black hole.

They then turned to Chandra to look for material that had been superheated and produced X-rays as it fell towards the black hole. While the Chandra data did reveal that the densest hot gas was not in the center of the galaxy, they did not reveal any possible X-ray signatures of a growing supermassive black hole — no X-ray source was found in the center of the cluster, or in any of the clumps of stars, or at the site of the radio emission.

The authors concluded that either there is no black hole at any of these locations, or that it is pulling material in too slowly to produce a detectable X-ray signal.

The mystery of this gigantic black hole’s location therefore continues. Although the search was unsuccessful, hope remains for astronomers looking for this supermassive black hole in the future. Once launched, the James Webb Space Telescope may be able to reveal the presence of a supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy or one of the clumps of stars. If Webb is unable to find the black hole, then the best explanation is that the black hole has recoiled well out of the center of the galaxy.

A paper describing these results has been accepted for publication in a journal of the American Astronomical Society, and is also available online at https://arxiv.org/abs/2010.13980. Gultekin’s co-authors are Sarah Burke-Spolaor; Tod R. Lauer (National Optical Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory, Tucson, Arizona); T. Joseph W. Lazio and Leonidas A. Moustakas (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California); and Patrick Ogle and Marc Postman (Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland).

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center manages the Chandra program. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Chandra X-ray Center controls science from Cambridge Massachusetts and flight operations from Burlington, Massachusetts.

Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ of Michigan/K. Gültekin; Optical: NASA/STScI and NAOJ/Subaru; Infrared: NSF/NOAO/KPNO

Read more from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.

For more Chandra images, multimedia and related materials, visit:


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December 27, 2020 2:55 am

Dominion moved it to another galaxy far, far away!

Reply to  RockyRoad
December 27, 2020 3:10 am

They searching for something that might not be or even ever been there.

December 27, 2020 3:14 am

Could it be hiding with Trenberth’s missing heat?

Gary Pearse
December 27, 2020 3:19 am

“detection of recoiling supermassive black holes would embolden scientists using and developing observatories to look for gravitational waves from merging supermassive black holes”

It seems to me that astrophysicists are indeed already emboldened enough, thank you very much. They have never observed ‘recoiling supermassive black holes’ in the first place. How can a galaxy ‘eject’ a supermassive black hole from its center and leave its stars happily behind.

Wouldn’t one expect, if something whisked away its massive … no supermassive… black hole from a giant galaxy,, its orphaned stars would form clusters of galaxies which is the very thing they are observing!

Look this thing is 2 billion light years away. Look for recoiling blackholes within a billion first! Geologists do the same sort of fieldwork and its tough enough sometimes when the definitive outcrop to solve a puzzle is only 2 miles away. We don’t go inventing formations and structures to make it fit with zero evidence of its existence anywhere. Modern scientific evidence anyone?

Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 27, 2020 11:25 am

There’s a new theory in partical physics that dark energy= tiny black holes

Reply to  taoofrob
December 27, 2020 12:19 pm

I have an alternative hypothesis: dark energy / dark matter is made of horse shit.
Occam’s rasor an all that.

Reply to  Greg
December 27, 2020 2:28 pm

A valid option 👌

David Blenkinsop
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 27, 2020 3:21 pm

Well you know how it is. Every time I see a pastry it just has to have a jam center. And if there’s none there, you just know I have to have a good look around, in case I missed something ..

Reply to  David Blenkinsop
December 28, 2020 11:18 am

The obvious explanation is that someone came in with a turkey baster cleverly concealed in their outer garment and inserted it into said pastry and “shoplifted” the jam filling right out of there.

Peta of Newark
December 27, 2020 3:27 am

Took a moment or two – to remember another reason I’d worked out to suggest that Black Holes (BH) are crap.

Black Hole has Event Horizon (EH) = the point/place where the Escape Velocity (EV) = that of light
The ‘hole’ is inside there but, obviously, invisible or ‘black’

1) For any celestial body, EV is also = Terminal Velocity (TV) = speed at which something falling in (nominally from infinitely far away) will have when it meets the surface of the object it was falling into/towards.
In the case of a BH the ‘surface is the EH

The first problem for BH is that stuff falling in has to be moving at light-speed when it crosses the EH
That’s garbage to start with. Only light can/does travel at light-speed

2) (This the new bit.For me anyway.)
What happens after ‘falling object’ crosses the EH?
The entire theory that proposes BH says that it can only keep accelerating until it does actually meet something solid. Presumably whatever it is that comprises the mass of the BH and hidden from view inside the EH

Of course you say ‘That’s garbage. It cannot happen.
But but I say, how do you know that?
Maybe objects crossing the EH do keep accelerating.
(Are they then called ‘Tachyons’)
Why should they not?

This is The Problem for the BH.
The falling object will have passed the singularity you get from dividing-by-zero and be on the down-slope on ‘the other side’
Thus, as it accelerates towards the core of the BH, it loses mass and energy

Do we then propose that by the time it reaches the core of the BH, it will be going at infinite speed and have zero mass?

So how do BHs gain mass? The whole process that creates them, snuffs them them out at the same time.
How do they even exist?

Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 27, 2020 3:57 am

I thought that as far as we down here are concerned things up there never fall in a black hole, since time slows down and eventually has ‘zero’ value (said A.E.) so everything should be plastered all over the event horizon and stay there forever , but no one has ever seen anything there except a bit of radiation in the nearby space, or maybe there is a black hole hiding my skull.

Reply to  Vuk
December 27, 2020 8:22 am

Time slows down only in the frame of the “traveller” that is moving near c. Time in the rest frame moves on same as always. “Distance” also expands in the travelers frame and so the traveler will never seem to be able to get significantly closer to the EH in his own frame. But to an observer in the rest frame he will appear to just splat into it.

An interesting thought experiment: they say the age of the universe is >12BY but perhaps at 1 inch above a SMBH EH the universe may only be something like 1MY old.

Reply to  menace
December 27, 2020 8:27 am

Oops I got that wrong, distance compresses in the travelers frame. I did say relativity always confused me…

Reply to  menace
December 27, 2020 9:15 am

Yep, you got it wrong, but we all learn by being wrong more often than not. German mathematician Karl Schwarzschild while on the Russian front in 1915/16 somehow got hold of Einstein’s paper only few weeks after publication.
He managed to solve the equation that Einstein didn’t or couldn’t (he relied for maths’ work on his wife <a href=” https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/the-forgotten-life-of-einsteins-first-wife/&nbsp;”> M.M. Einstein </a> a scientist in her own right, to whom he eventually passed the Nobel prize money, but he got the fame, she wrote “What is there to say, with notoriety, one gets the pearl, the other the shell.” . The female scientists should put a bit of effort to bring her contribution to the attention of the wider scientific community..
When  Max Planck had sought Einsteins’s opinion on a particularly tricky matter it was his wife who answered the letter.
Poor Schwarzschild never lived to see the end of WWI, not realising what he may have started. 

Reply to  Vuk
December 27, 2020 9:19 am
Gary Pearse
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 27, 2020 5:57 am

Peta, objects can hit a celestial body at various speeds, not just EV if it already has a sustantial velocity toward its target before it becomes measurably attracted to the target body. Indeed if the celestial target body were to be going in the same direction as an ‘impactor’ overtaking it, a soft landing is possible.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 27, 2020 8:12 am

The BH event horizon is terminal velocity for a no-mass particle like a photon (EH is the point at which a photon cannot escape the gravity). For matter, relativity kicks in to enforce the “c” speed limit. As a mass particle accelerated near speed of light its mass increases and this in turn decreases the rate of acceleration. Its speed would increase asymptotically toward c but never quite get to c when it reaches the event horizon.

But relativity always confuses me. If the matter spinning in just above the event horizon at >0.99c becomes much more massive than its rest mass, the mass of the black hole should be more than the mass of the black hole itself plus the rest mass of the infalling matter. But I suppose perhaps that relativistic matter’s gravity only depends on its rest mass and not its relativistic mass?

Steve Reddish
Reply to  menace
December 27, 2020 8:52 am

“near speed of light its mass increases and this in turn decreases the rate of acceleration”
Only if moving force is something other than gravity, ie a rocket motor. Greater mass = greater gravity = greater acceleration toward a nearby mass.

Last edited 2 years ago by Steve Reddish
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 27, 2020 8:27 am

A century pf physics shows that back holes must and do exist.
But Peta knows betta!
Stick it to the man!

Reply to  Phil Salmon
December 27, 2020 9:19 am

Phil, you & I know BHs exist — no other explanation for the centers of many galaxies & even a few “nearby” star-systems like Cygnus X which suggest a “small” BH. But let Peta go on, tho he should offer his own explanation of why massive stars are rapidly orbiting around “something” in our galaxy’s center that orbital mechanics show is ~ 4 MILLION solar masses (and far bigger “somethings” in the center of some other galaxies like M87).

Last edited 2 years ago by beng135
Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  beng135
December 28, 2020 5:04 am

The real question in astronomy today is not whether black holes exist (they do) but why stars do not follow the Law of Gravitation (Kepler’sLaw) as they orbit the center of the galaxy. If you use the orbits of the stars close to the central black hole in our galaxy to calculate the mass of the central black hole, and use luminosity to estimate the mass of the rest of the Milky Way, our star is moving 4-5 times too fast around the center of the galaxy. There is not enough mass to explain the orbital velocities. Hence the invention of dark matter.

Reply to  Loren C. Wilson
December 28, 2020 8:43 am

Something interesting that just came up on astronomy site — evidence supporting MOND, which is modified Newtonian gravity (nothing to do w/BHs tho):


Last edited 2 years ago by beng135
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 27, 2020 11:48 am

PBS Space Time has many great videos explaining Black Holes.


Ron Ginzler
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 27, 2020 6:04 pm

Peta of Newark,

Matter crossing the event horizon at velocity v is only approaching the speed of light, c, but any light emitted from such matter away from it is red-shifted. As v approaches c, the red-shift wavelength approaches infinity, so for all practical purposes, the matter disappears. At least, this is my limited grasp of Special and General Relativity. But they are just theories, and observation trumps theory.

December 27, 2020 3:32 am

This paper with statements as ‘also thought to result’ and ‘central galaxy’ or such as ‘Subpixel events were achieved using the energy-dependent sub-pixel event repositioning algorithm’ is calling for the ultimate get me out of the (black) hole excuse ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’.to be taken seriously.

December 27, 2020 4:45 am

Black hole, dark matter and dark energy scientists are the climatologists of astronomy. “Evidence does not constitute proof”, especially when you have to groom observed phenomena until it fits with your theory of what constitutes evidence.
I shall not even talk about proof.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  paranoid goy
December 27, 2020 8:43 am

Feynman observed how hard it is to do the really hard part of science, actual observing and measurement, and the repeating it. Because in doing so, one ends up frequently with more questions than answers. Nature is strange and gives up her deepest secrets only grudgingly and then only to hard work with many blind, dead-ends, only to find there are even deeper secrets. A never-ending onion. That is science.

That’s how we know climate science claims of ‘settled science” are crap and those making it are junk-science peddlers. If they had really done the hard observational work and stop the data infilling (creation), computer model love, junk statistics, and conclusions in search of supporting data cherry picking, then they’d know that they know next to nothing about what causes Earth’s changing climate.

Last edited 2 years ago by Joel O’Bryan
December 27, 2020 5:07 am

James Webb is an infrared telescope, hardly looking for X-ray sources. Someone is cooking astro-porridge!

SgrA*, our local supermassive object is so quiet “now”, it is hard to find.
Mass estimate is from actual stellar orbits there.
What is the relation between central massive object and total disk mass, that is the question.

Reply to  bonbon
December 27, 2020 9:26 am

But X-rays will heat matter surrounding the area.

December 27, 2020 5:50 am

I am confused again. If a supermassive black hole were to be ejected from a Galaxy, wouldn’t it have to be done by an even more supermassive object? And if a supermassive black hole were traveling through the Universe, wouldn’t it leave a Black Trail as it absorbed all matter in areas through which it has passed, making it easy to follow? It might appear as a black , in it’s travels.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  DonK31
December 27, 2020 8:56 am

Intergalactic space is a big place. Big beyond human comprehension really. Even a supermassive black hole is tiny as a speck of sand in the whole Sahara Desert in comparison. If the recoil happened billions of years ago, even at Vexit ~ 0.1c, it could be anywhere within hundreds of mega-light years, and its speed could give it an “artificial” Hubble distance based on a shifted Red-shift compared to “nearby” galaxies.

Charles Higley
December 27, 2020 7:00 am

Ah, what fun, looking for something that probably does not and cannot exist. Einstein, Oppenheimer, and even NASA say that black holes do not exist. Our intrepid researchers search for something that is really a mathematical construct created by putting math ahead of physics. It is unreasonable to assume things go to infinity in the real world.

So, we have EM forces that are 10^38 times stronger than gravity driving galactic evolution and amazing EM nexi at galactic centers—EM forces can easily create X-rays. There are seven or nine models for back holes—so many because none of them actually match with the observed universe. Despite that, astronomers go looking for black holes and “plan” to address the problems later. But, they need more funding, which is the whole reason for the “hole” search.

Reply to  Charles Higley
December 27, 2020 8:20 am

Even Hawking himself wrote they are “ephemeral”, turbulent, in other words change does not stop, very close to what Einstein showed with a quick calculation of a collapsing water sphere from a totally different perspective.
It is not that time should “stop”, but that change cannot stop. Einstein suggested the object would radiate spacetime – sounds like gravitational waves, but not the same argument.
This science is not settled, and is sure to bring surprises.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Charles Higley
December 27, 2020 9:19 am

Asking for and searching for funding for this kind of research is worthy IMO, because there is NO political agenda driving it. Contrast that to climate junk science which has become highly politicized whereby skeptical scientists of “consensus” get censored and unvited to conferences and their papers rejected by gate-keepers. Real physics welcomes debate and alternative expalanations. Climate physics gate-keepers are pseudoscientists protecting a political agenda.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 28, 2020 10:46 am

“…no political agenda driving it.” Are you sure? Their methodologies and repeated rewriting of the “facts” to support their latest theory seem political to me. The easiest explanation is just plain detraction of attention and funding from real science into a bottomless pit full of black holes and dark matter.
As with the climatolojerks, these Dark Mutterers seem to prey on ignorance and tax money. What exactly is their Dark Agenda?

rhoda klapp
December 27, 2020 8:21 am

I find it’s best to think back about what you were doing before you lost it, and look around there. It will always bee in the last place you look.

Reply to  rhoda klapp
December 27, 2020 9:19 am

Of course! After you find it you stop looking.

December 27, 2020 8:40 am

The evidence is there but not the object, so what is it. As someone who knows nothing about it but is curious it seem worthwhile to find out what it is.

December 27, 2020 8:57 am

As far back as the 1700s John Mitchell and Pierre-Simon Laplace using Newton’s laws of gravity realised that an object could be so large that the even light would not be able to escape. The idea of the “dark star” was born.

Einstein’s relativity replaced Newton’s gravity, and this improved knowledge of gravity and light made the existence of black holes still clearer. Karl Schwarzchild solved the equations of general relativity soon after Einsten published it and showed that a sufficiently large star would be surrounded by a surface where time froze. At that point the singularity was the obvious implication but at first even Einstein himself recoiled from the idea that there could be big-bang like singularities in the universe. For physicists general such singularities are of course an embarassment.

So for a while physicists reassured themselves that while a black hole was theoretically possible, in the real messy world with structure and stochastic variation, the perfect contraction to a mathematical point couldn’t happen. Particles contracting would miss eachother at the last moment and bounce out again. That’s when Roger Penrose stepped in and showed that – even with structure and noise and inhomogeneity – black holes would inevitably contain a singularity; always. Warts and all. This was argued strictly from general relativity. Penrose’s 2-page 1965 Physics Review letter was – some argued – the most significant physics advance since Einstein himself. No longer could the singularity be ignored. Only this year Penrose finally received the Nobel prize for this work.

The success of Penrose discovery went beyond just singularities in black holes. It has ended up testing the limits of general relativity itself. Penrose refined the concept of the event horizon to the “trapped surface”. Light paths or “(null) geodesics” emitted from within a trapped surface always converge no matter their original direction. And when they converge, they stop. Their continued propagation is impossible; they, and the universe with them at that point, come to an end. (Impossible contradictions arise by continuing geodesics beyond trapped convergence. This condition is called “geodesic incompleteness”.)

Hawking used Penrose’s argument to show that all geodesics terminate at the big bang: space and time both begin and end. Supper time … more later (maybe)

Reply to  Phil Salmon
December 27, 2020 10:55 am

Hi Phil
There are contradictions in the current understanding. Because no radiation escapes from inside BH (hawking radiation is from ‘surface’ of EH) they assume BH is a super cold black body (around  1.5 x 10^( –14) K. Under such strong gravitational pressure I would expect supper hot plasma  whereby falling in matter’s atoms are breaking down to protons and electrons, while neutrons do the same shortly afterwards.  If so these objects are indeed ‘black stars’ not ‘black holes’ and would fall into the realm of ‘common garden’ quantum physics and mechanics. 

Reply to  Charles Rotter
December 27, 2020 12:04 pm

Unfortunately it may not be just the hawking radiation, with apology to Leonard Susskind at Stanford.. 

Reply to  Phil Salmon
December 27, 2020 1:31 pm

That all led to the Penrose-Hawking singularity theorems.
But the point of all this was not that it was right, but that it was wrong!
A pure Einstein relativity world was bounded by singularities at the Big Bang and also black holes. But the missing ingredient was indeed quantum dynamics, especially quantum gravity. It is known (Khaleesi) that general relativity is not the entire picture. This could be the most powerful finding of the Penrose-Hawking singularity theories – that they are not the whole story. It may be better to describe their finding as a paradox rather than law. The resolution involves the well known goal of physics – some synthesis of relativity with quantum dynamics and quantum gravity. This is of course not yet known – string theory is the closest thing we have to it yet will all it’s problems of experimental validation (not).

Black holes do exist though and are routinely observed. Andrea Ghez and Reinhart Genzel shared Penrose’s Nobel prize this year for finding the black hole in the center of the Milky Way (our local galaxy) based on orbits of stars in the galactic core. The choice we have about black holes is that they are places where either singularities exist or general relativity breaks down. New physics is needed.

Reply to  Phil Salmon
December 27, 2020 3:23 pm

The idea that black holes are singularity i.e. point in space has been rejected some time ago. It is assumed that internal content is a Bose-Einstein condensate, i.e. the matter whose atoms are cooled to almost 0K (most likely wrong- see my previous comment). If so (?) when atoms reach such low temperatures they stop moving/vibrating since they have no free energy left required for movement. Apparently now all atoms having reached same minimal energy state, the whole lot will stick together into a clump and behave as it it were a single atom, hence physics of singularity may apply, but in ‘reality’ radius of the ‘inner core’ of a black hole may .vary from few to many thousands of miles.
I think all of the above is wrong. Atoms are almost empty space, nucleus is 1/10,000 times of the atoms diameter, while distance between atoms in a molecule may be up to 10 times of the atoms diameter. If black hole interior is at high pressure and temperature forced onto it by strong gravity, atoms will break up into protons and electrons and neutrons follow breaking also into protons and electrons and some other minor particle.
In such circumstances if protons are forced close together the unit volume of matter falling into black hole will be compressed to a new volume of (1/10,000)^3 or 1/1,000,000,000,000 (with up to another 000 added depending on kind of molecule, to account for empty space between atoms within molecule), of the original volume. Hence a small size and a huge mass of so called ‘black holes’, but actually may be invisible ‘proton stars’.
If my assumptions are correct a volume of 10km x 10km x 10km of matter could be compressed to as little as the volume equal to one cubic millimetre, while the mass will stay more or less the same.
Mass of electron is about 2,000 times smaller than mass of a proton and for reason of clarity, it has been left out from the above calculation. In actual proton stars electrons are ejected an blasted into nearby space (forming electric current; what is that? asked a puzzled astrophysicist)

Reply to  Vuk
December 27, 2020 4:05 pm

correction: units misnomer, ‘volume equal to one cubic centimetre’ from:10^-15, while one cubic millimetre would be from 10 ^-18

Reply to  Vuk
December 27, 2020 4:37 pm

IF time stops at the EH of a black hole then everything in the physical world stops there. Nothing can happen in 0 time. BHs then become layers of squished matter, like an onion, through out. IF there are black holes with growing EHs. Or possibly we simply do not completely understand gravity.

Reply to  JimG1
December 27, 2020 5:18 pm

Macroscopic common sense is no help in the quantum world. Think of the single photon or electron grating interference experiments. A single particle showing up as multiple lines. Not in theory but experiment.

Reply to  Phil Salmon
December 27, 2020 6:17 pm

Given two entangled particles, one falls into a black hole and one does not, does time stop for the one outside the black hole EH? Got an experiment for that one?

Reply to  JimG1
December 28, 2020 3:50 am

It’s called Hawking radiation. It is considered possible to confirm it experimentally a d attempts are underway to do so.

Reply to  Phil Salmon
December 28, 2020 6:26 am

Hawking radiation was theoretical last time I heard!

Reply to  Phil Salmon
December 28, 2020 6:59 am

You may got that wrong, a single particle shows as a single dot but we can’t tell where is going to land. To obtain wave pattern you need many particles then probability distribution shows up as a wave.
(should start around 5.20)

Reply to  JimG1
December 28, 2020 12:20 am

Time apparently stops only for the observer at rest not for the pour soul who got to close.
After glass of wine I don’t believe any of it.

Reply to  Vuk
December 28, 2020 6:33 am


There is a distinct probability that you and I do not exist either.

Reply to  Vuk
December 27, 2020 5:20 pm

Remember that inside neutron stars neutrons themselves collapsed into a kind of quark porridge 🥣

Reply to  Phil Salmon
January 4, 2021 5:25 pm

If there’s a space-time singularity in every galaxy – what does that tell you about the stability of space-time?

Not to be confused with coordinate singularity.

December 27, 2020 11:23 am

Its in the pile where all left socks go….

Jolly green watchman
December 27, 2020 6:00 pm

“they” Dyson shielded it using galactic excess/surplus of Co2?

December 27, 2020 6:17 pm

Not that I firmly believe in dark matter, but how about a black hole comprised of dark matter. It’s there but not there.

December 27, 2020 6:58 pm

I’m going to blame it on Man-Made CO2

December 28, 2020 9:54 am

From the post: “If Webb is unable to find the black hole, then the best explanation is that the black hole has recoiled well out of the center of the galaxy.”

So the best explanation is “although we did not find one, there was one and it left before we got there.”

These black holes along with dark matter and energy are darned elusive.

Reply to  mkelly
December 28, 2020 10:48 am

While space is expanding at a tremendous rate, black holes evaporate. no problem they’ll find another one elsewhere.
Talking about expanding space, this newly created space is almost empty, a lot of available real estate you might say just waiting there to be occupied. I know of an agency selling some of this virgin space and it has some real bargains on its books. Just to mention your plot will expand at same rate as nearby space, you get it today and at some time in future will double in size. Note that all the available space is far away from any black holes and such stuff. Anyone interested please get in touch before the best bits have gone.

January 2, 2021 9:26 am

My theory, based on nothing, is that when Black Holes reach a certain critical point(50 to 100 billion solar masses) it breaks into another parallel universe as the spark for that universes Big Bang.

I’m going to pitch this to Hollywood, I’m sure I could get a movie deal and have Hilary Swank star in it.

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