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Black Holes Have Simple Feeding Habits

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 3:24pm

Click to Enlarge - Image courtesy NASA/CXC/Wisconsin/D.Pooley & CfA/A.Zezas; NASA/ESA/CfA/A.Zezas; NASA/JPL-Caltech/CfA/J.Huchra et al.; NASA/JPL-Caltech/CfAAt the center of spiral galaxy M81 is a supermassive black hole about 70 million times more massive than our sun.

A study using data from Chandra and ground-based telescopes, combined with detailed theoretical models, shows that the supermassive black hole in M81 feeds just like stellar mass black holes, with masses of only about ten times that of the sun. This discovery supports Einstein's relativity theory that states black holes of all sizes have similar properties.

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