For a long time, NGC 3842 was the most massive black hole that we knew about, but astronomers recently discovered one that’s even larger. In November of 2012, researchers discovered a black hole that is 17 billion solar masses.This means that the event horizon is more than twice that of NGC 3842’s.
And this black hole is powerful. Not only has it consumed an impressive amount of material, it is ejecting an amazing amount as well. Some black holes emit x-rays, gamma-rays, and radio waves from just outside of the event horizon (it is believed that this is caused by gravitational stresses from material revolving around the black hole).
Researchers found that about 400 solar masses of material is streaming away from this object at speeds exceeding 4,970 miles per second (8,000 kilometers), which is more than five times more powerful than the previous record holder. Ultimately, this black hole puts out about one hundred times the energy output by all of the stars in our galaxy, so it’s about 2 TRILLION times more energetic than the Sun!