We have a pretty good idea that a supermassive black hole is sitting at the center of our galaxy. By supermassive, astronomers mean about 6 millions times as massive as our sun.
That’s pretty big by any standards but how big can black holes get Is there any limit to how big these monsters can become?
According to Priyamvada Natarajan at Yale University and a pal, the answer is yes. Black holes, they say, cannot be bigger than 10^10 times the mass of the sun. (Or at least, are very unlikely to be bigger than that).
They arrive at this figure by calculating the rate at which a black hole can swallow stuff and how much it could have gorged on since the universe was born, which seem like reasonable limits.
They call these beasts ultramassive black holes and reckon that there should be around 7×10^−7 of them per cubic megaparsec in the nearby universe. That’s not many. Our bast chance of finding one should be to look in the bright, central cluster galaxies in the local universe.
Better start scanning.
Re: arxiv.org/abs/0808.2813: Is there an upper limit to black hole masses?