Astronomers find fastest-growing black hole known in space

A monster black hole has been discovered, and it's growing very fast (but it's far, far away)

A monster black hole has been discovered, and it's growing very fast (but it's far, far away)

Supermassive black holes exist in the center of nearly every galaxy.

Australian scientists have discovered the fastest growing black hole known in the universe. Previously, astronomers had already found black holes much heavier than they should be due to their age. Its glow is produced by a huge mass of gas which it constantly draws to itself. Apparently, what baffled the scientists was that this black hole expands at such an accelerated pace that, in accordance to the current theories, it must have about 20 billion times the mass of our Sun. They occasionally swallow stars, other celestial bodies and gas and emit a portion of the captured matter in the form of jets beams of heated plasma moving at relativistic speeds.

FOR anyone trying to unlock the mysteries of the universe, there is one thing that is universal, the bigger a black hole is, the better.

Dr Wolf and his team have spent six months searching for "exceedingly rare" large and rapidly-growing black holes using the state-of-the-art SkyMapper telescope.

"If we had this monster sitting at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy, it would appear 10 times brighter than a full Moon".

READ NEXT: What are black holes?


Dr. Christian Wolf, from ANU's Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, explains that the rapidly expanding quasar puts on a spectacular light show as it engulfs everything around it. Wolf further added that it would have appeared as an unbelievably bright "pin-point star", which could wash out almost every star present in the celestial sphere. However, the SkyMapper telescope at the ANU Siding Spring Observatory was able to detect the ultraviolet light emitted by the quasar.

Wolf painted a vivid picture of what the supermassive black hole would look like from Earth if it were located in the center of our galaxy.

Dr Wolf said one benefit from finding black holes is they act as backlighting to everything else out in the cosmos, making it easier to see.

Dr Wolf said the Gaia satellite confirmed the object that they had found was sitting still, meaning that it was far away and it was a candidate to be a very large quasar.

Do you believe that black holes are more than just monsters that devour anything in the universe?

Thankfully, we're nice and safe at a distance of over 12 billion light-years - which of course means that astronomers are seeing it as it was 12 billion years ago, dating it to fairly soon after the Big Bang.

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