The Largest Black Hole in the Universe - Size Comparison | Summary and Q&A

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August 3, 2021
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Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell
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The Largest Black Hole in the Universe - Size Comparison

TL;DR

This video explores the different sizes of black holes, from the smallest primordial black holes to the largest ultramassive black holes.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How do primordial black holes differ from other black holes?

Primordial black holes, if they exist, would be the smallest black holes and could have formed shortly after the Big Bang, while other black holes are formed from the collapse of massive stars.

Q: How do stellar black holes grow in size?

Stellar black holes grow by accreting matter from their surroundings, such as through the merger of neutron stars or the collapse of massive stars in supernovae.

Q: What is the largest known supermassive black hole?

The supermassive black hole in the galaxy Messier 87 is one of the largest known, with a mass of 6.5 billion solar masses and a size that covers our entire solar system.

Q: Can black holes continue to grow indefinitely?

While black holes can continue to grow through the accretion of matter or by merging with other black holes, there is a gap in scale between black holes up to around 150 solar masses and the largest supermassive black holes, suggesting something else must have happened to form these massive black holes.

Q: How do we observe black holes if we can't see them directly?

Black holes cannot be seen directly, but their presence and properties can be inferred through studying their gravitational effects on surrounding matter, such as the orbit of stars or the emission of electromagnetic radiation from their accretion disks.

Q: What are some uncertainties in our knowledge of black holes?

Due to limited data, there are uncertainties in our knowledge of the sizes and masses of black holes. Calculations are based on approximations and assumptions, and the true sizes of black holes may vary.

Q: How do primordial black holes differ from other black holes?

Primordial black holes, if they exist, would be the smallest black holes and could have formed shortly after the Big Bang, while other black holes are formed from the collapse of massive stars.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Primordial black holes, if they exist, would be the smallest black holes in the universe, with a mass of a trillion kilograms or less.

  • Stellar black holes are formed from the collapse of massive stars and can range in size from 16 km to 92 km in diameter.

  • Supermassive black holes are located at the centers of galaxies and can have masses ranging from millions to billions of solar masses.

  • Ultramassive black holes are the largest known black holes, with masses of tens of billions of solar masses or more.

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