Supermassive black hole discovery made by Southampton astrophysicists

Astrophysicists at the University of Southampton say they have made a fundamental discovery about supermassive black holes.

The scientists, led by Sebastian Hoenig, worked out that these largest types of black hole are much further away and 40% bigger than first thought.

Dr Hoenig was studying a supermassive black hole called the Eye of Sauron with a colleague in Denmark and said he realised there was a way to measure its distance away no-one had thought of before.

He said: "The key point is that black holes are very mystical. They are a billion times the mass of the sun, and they are essentially in all centres of galaxies."

The discovery has been published in the scientific journal Nature.