Black Mini Still Has Hole Lotta Power

15-mile-wide black hole is smallest ever found
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2008 10:10 AM CDT
The black hole, 15 miles across, is one of the smallest things astronomers have ever seen outside our solar system.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Astronomers have spotted the smallest black hole ever discovered, Reuters reports. It is just 15 miles across—the size of a city—but still has a pull strong enough to "stretch your body into a strand of spaghetti," said a NASA researcher. The relative pipsqueak weighs about as much as four suns, while black holes often weigh billions of times more.

The black hole, found in our own galaxy, was formed when a star ran out of fuel and collapsed into its own gravity—but experts think it would have become a neutron star if it had been any smaller. "For many years, astronomers have wanted to know the smallest possible size of a black hole," a researcher said. "This little guy is a big step toward answering that question."