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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Weighing Black Hole In A Spiral Galaxy Confirms: We Are Tiny

ALMA's at it again. I'm blown away, yet again.
Crunching the numbers, ALMA has weighed the mass of the supermassive black hole at the center of this spiral barred galaxy called "NGC 1097."
It's pretty awesome progress.  This is a combo image of the galaxy using multiple real photos of different light freq. ranges, which is called a composite image, and very real.
Image Credit: ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ), K. Onishi; NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, E. Sturdivant; NRAO/AUI/NSF

Turns out this black hole has a mass of...  
over 140 million times that of our sun
 (which called Sol, btw.)
Woosah... Deep breaths... It'll be ok.  Don't worry, none of us can really, fully grasp this enormity.

Our sun is 99.8% the mass of OUR solar system.  Sol, our sun, is about 330,000 times the weight of the Earth.  
And we're pretty tiny, walking around on Earth trying to do stuff.
Remember as you go around doing oh so very important stuff, that this black hole in the center of the picture above is 
Earth's Mass times, oh, about 46,200,000,000,000

enjoy your latte.

EDIT:ALMA JAPAN just uploaded this fantastic youtube video featuring this galaxy, NGC 1097.

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