So far, scientists have only discovered evidence of ten different black hole collisions. However, one of the latest discoveries was the biggest to date.
Trying to get your head around the sheer size of the universe is almost impossible. Grasping exactly how big some of the things within it are in comparison to us is hard enough. Take our own solar system's sun, for instance. You could fit around 1.3 million Earths inside the sun, so it's pretty big.
If you venture out beyond our solar system there are things that dwarf our sun, such as black holes. Scientists are discovering more and more about these mysterious entities and the damage that they can do. What's even scarier than the prospect of being anywhere near a black hole is being near two of them when they collide.
That terrifying force of nature does happen, but scientists have only observed two black holes merging ten times. Due to advances in science, four of those occasions were revealed very recently, as reported by The Verge. In fact, one of the four was the biggest to ever be observed, creating a super black hole 80 times as big as the sun. The force of the collision was so massive that the gravitational waves caused by it were the equivalent of five suns.
What makes this discovery even more spectacular is when it happened. Even though the discovery was made during the summer of 2017, the black holes collided five billion years ago. That's before our solar system even existed. Due to the black holes being five billion lightyears away, it has taken the gravitational waves created by it all that time to reach Earth, hence the discovery only being made now.
Albert Einstein, along with some other great minds, had hypothesized the existence of gravitational waves as far back as the early 1900s. However, their existence wasn't proven until 2015. With the advances currently being made, it's highly likely that black hole collisions will be discovered more and more frequently. In fact, within the next 20 years, scientists will be using equipment that is 10 times more sensitive than what they're currently using to detect gravitational waves.