There’s a black hole in a galaxy 22 million light-years away that’s incredibly bright and energetic. Astronomers naturally assumed it was a supermassive black hole. But new observations show it’s actually quite tiny — throwing many conceptions of what we thought we knew about these things completely out the window.
Black holes come in two types, possibly three. Or four. We’ve got our supermassive black hole variety, the kind you might find at a galaxy’s core. As its name would suggest, these things are absolutely huge, weighing in at about a billion times the mass of our Sun. At the other side of the spectrum are stellar mass black holes, objects with a mass comparable to that of our Sun. Then there’s mid-sized black holes, or intermediate mass black holes (IMBH), at about 10 to 100 times the mass of our Sun. Astronomers also think there are “middleweight” black holes out there, weighing in anywhere from 20,000 to 90,000 times the sun’s mass — but more observations are need to confirm these findings.