Trinh Manh Do

More than what you can imagine!

List of most massive black holes

This is a list of the largest known black holes by mass. The unit of measurement used is the solar mass (M), or the mass of the Sun (approx. 2×1030 kilograms).

All black holes in this list are classified as supermassive, with masses from a few million to several billion M.

The order of this list is speculative:

  • There are wildly varying ranges in mass estimates of some black holes, due to unknown speed and rotation of their event horizons, giving estimates in a wide range. Such an example is the black hole in NGC 4889, which can be as low as 6 billion M or can be as large as 37 billion M.
  • Most black holes are occluded by matter from their host galaxies, making the estimates of their mass not clearly defined.
  • The M-sigma relation can only be estimated by observing orbiting bodies, however, due to their distances, such estimates are often quite doubtful.
  • The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) has surveyed some supermassive black holes in distant galaxies and 10 of them are found to be larger than the 1 billion M cutoff point at this table, with the largest of around 17 billion M.


List of the largest black holes
Black hole name Solar mass
(Sun = 1)
S5 0014+813 40,000,000,000 Methods of estimating the mass of this black hole is poorly detailed due to the broad long wavelength emission lines and the extreme luminosity of the quasar.
SDSS J085543.40-001517.7 25,000,000,000 Estimate ranges from 14 to 39 billion M
APM 08279+5255 23,000,000,000
NGC 4889 21,000,000,000 Best fit: the estimate ranges from 6 billion to 37 billion M.
Central black hole ofPhoenix Cluster 20,000,000,000 This black hole is continuously growing at the rate of 60 M per year.
OJ 287 primary 18,000,000,000 A smaller 100 million M black hole orbits this black hole in a 12 year period.
SDSS J013127.34-032100.1 11,000,000,000
Central black hole ofMS 0735.6+7421 10,000,000,000 Produced a colossal AGN outburst after accreting 600 million M worth of material.
Central black hole ofRX J1532.9+3021 10,000,000,000
NGC 3842 9,700,000,000 Brightest galaxy in the Leo Cluster
Messier 87 6,300,000,000 Central galaxy of the Virgo Cluster; notable for its 4,300 light-year long relativistic jet.
NGC 1277 5,000,000,000 Once thought to harbor a black hole so large that it contradicted modern galaxy formation and evolutionary theories, re-analysis of the data revised it downward to roughly a third of the original estimate.
Messier 60 4,500,000,000
Hercules A (3C 348) 4,000,000,000 Notable for its million light-year long relativistic jet.
ULAS J1120+0641 2,000,000,000 Also on record as the most distant quasar known, at z=7.085
NGC 3115 2,000,000,000 Also the nearest known billion solar mass black hole, at 32 million light-years away.
Q0906+6930 2,000,000,000 Most distant known blazar, at z = 5.47
Messier 84 1,500,000,000
The following well-known black holes are listed for the purpose of comparison
Sombrero Galaxy 1,000,000,000
Markarian 501 900,000,000-3,400,000,000 Brightest object in the sky in very high energy gamma rays.
Messier 49 560,000,000
NGC 1275 340,000,000 Central galaxy of the Perseus Cluster
Andromeda Galaxy 230,000,000
Messier 105 140,000,000-200,000,000
Messier 85 100,000,000
Messier 81 (Bode’s Galaxy) 70,000,000
Centaurus A 55,000,000 Also notable for its million light-year long relativistic jet
Messier 82 (Cigar Galaxy) 30,000,000 Prototype starburst galaxy.
Messier 108 24,000,000
Messier 61 5,000,000
Messier 32 1,500,000-5,000,000 A dwarf satellite galaxy of the Andromeda Galaxy.
Sagittarius A* 4,100,000 The black hole at the Milky Way‘s center.

Trinh Manh Do

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