At 6.3 billion solar masses, the central black hole in the supergiant elliptical galaxy M87 has been regarded as the most massive known black hole in the Universe for more than three decades. This paper reports two galaxies containing black holes that exceed that figure. NGC 3842 has a central black hole of 9.7 billion solar masses, and NGC 4889 has one of comparable or greater mass. Indications of such massive black holes have existed in the early Universe from luminous quasars but have eluded our detection; these results are the first to connect these early massive black holes to host galaxies in the nearby Universe.
- Two ten-billion-solar-mass black holes at the centres of giant elliptical galaxies (Letter p215, doi: 10.1038/nature10636)
- (Editorial p152, doi: 10.1038/480152a)
- (News & Views p187, doi: 10.1038/480187a)
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