A supermassive black hole has been recently discovered sitting within a galaxy dubbed NGC 4889 by astronomers. The galaxy, captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, is one of 20,000 other galaxies in an area of space known as the Coma Cluster.

Black hole one of the largest ever found

The supermassive black hole, located about 300 million miles away from Earth, is roughly 21 billion times the mass of our sun.

NASA says the event horizon, the point where nothing can escape the void’s gravitational clutches, is just under 81 billion miles in diameter or about 15 times the size of Neptune’s orbit around the sun. By comparison,the dark emptinessat the center of the Milky Way is about four million times the mass of our sun with a much smaller event horizon.

According to NASA, a black hole is best described as an area of space with a gravitational pull so strong that nothing, not even radiation, can escape it. While active, it devours everything in the vicinity and releases a tremendous amount of energy into space.

A sleeping giant

However, the supermassive black hole in NGC 4889 appears to be dormant. Scientists have noted that stars near the space giant are very stable, leading them to reason that there isn't enough nearby galactic debris left to swallow.

“The environment within the galaxy is now so peaceful that stars are forming from its remaining gas and orbiting undisturbed around the black hole,” reads a European Space Agency statement.

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If the black hole was still active, it would be emitting approximately one thousand times more energy than the Milky Way and scientists would have categorized it as a quasar. Astronomersdo not think the space behemoth will become active again unless some straymatter gets too close andgets captured by the space vacuum's intense gravity.

Known as a class-4 elliptical galaxy, NGC 4889 was discovered by British astronomer Frederick William Herschel in 1785.

Since it's a very large and bright galaxy, it's easily visible from Earth. Space scientists theorize NGC 4889 was formed by multiple mergers of several smaller galaxies.

Since not even light can escape its gravity, a black hole is invisible. Yet, scientists can find them by measuring the speed of stars and other objects circling them. The size of the space phenomenon directly affects the velocity of objects, which allowed astronomers to estimate just how big NGC 4889’s supermassive black hole really is.

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