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Space Science

Supermassive Black Holes Not So Big After All 153

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the puck-will-be-disappointed dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Supermassive black holes are between 2 and 10 times less massive than previously thought, according to new calculations published by German astrophysicists (abstract)."
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Supermassive Black Holes Not So Big After All

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  • Re:Math? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 17, 2011 @10:51AM (#35232626)

    Personally, I'm also bothered when I hear "5 times more". Is it 6 times as much or 5 times as much?

  • Re:Math? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mangu (126918) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @11:19AM (#35233034)

    The translation from "two times less massive" to "less massive by a factor of two" is pretty straightforward and easily understood...

    The real problem happens in the opposite direction. A star that's 200% as massive as the sun is smaller than one that's 150% more massive than the sun, but many people will give the wrong answer if asked.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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