Ton 618 – Breaking Limits

Ton 618 - Breaking Limits

Ton 618 - Breaking Limits

Black holes are the densest and the heaviest objects in the universe. Their masses range from a few times the mass of our sun (stellar black holes) to many millions or billions of times (super-massive black holes). But now, let’s meet a black hole classified beyond the super-massive, the most massive black hole of all – Ton 618.

Ton 618, first observed in 1957, is super bright quasar located 10.37 billion light years away in the constellation Canes Venatici. The quasar is so bright that it outshines its own galaxy and is also one of the brightest objects in the universe. It shines with the luminosity of 140 trillion suns. But more interesting is the object that this quasar hides, a beast 66 billion times the mass of our sun, thus classified as an Ultra-massive. The black hole is 1300 AU in radius (1 Astronomical unit= 150 million km- the distance from Sun to Earth) making it larger than our solar system! (The distance of Pluto from sun is about 39.5 AU). Very large in size but not the largest. The largest black hole in terms of radius would be the S5 0014+81 having a radius of 1580 AU and weighing 40 billion solar masses.

Ton 618 is truly a fascinating and magnificent beast, but the question still remains, how did this beast come to be…

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