Science Odyssey: Astronomers Discover the Biggest Black Holes Ever
By Clay Farris Naff
Black holes are the most exotic objects in the universe, and until recently their very existence was a matter of debate. Now, a team of astronomers reports finding a pair of them weighing in at 10 billion solar masses each. If you take their event horizons -- the boundary past which nothing that falls in can ever re-emerge -- these are by far the biggest black holes ever found.
In Part 1, we talk with astronomy graduate student Nicholas McConnell of the University of California - Berkeley, who is the lead author of the paper announcing the discovery. In Part 2, we hear from Professor of Astronomy and Physics Priya Natarajan of Yale University. She's a cosmological theorist who predicted the discovery and whose calculations suggest that these are the biggest that will ever be found.
Clay Farris Naff is (claynaff.com) is a science author and blogger whose weekly radio program, Science Odyssey, airs Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9 a.m. CST on KZUM, Lincoln's community radio station. You can hear it over the air at 89.3 FM or on the web live at kzum.org. Clay's science and religion blog on the Huffington Post can be seen here.