Space Research

Astronomers discover fastest growing black hole ever

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Astronomers have discovered the fastest-growing supermassive black hole, which is so huge that it can gulp the sun in mere two days.┬áThe black hole was detected using the SkyMapper telescope at the ANU Siding Spring Observatory with the help of the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite.

A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can’t get out. They can’t be observed like other celestial bodies as they don’t let out any light.

According to the researchers from the Australian National University’s Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, the recently discovered black hole appears to have a mass of about 20 billion suns when the light was released. It is likely growing by almost 1 percent every million years.

Christian Wolf, who is the first author on the new research and an astronomer at the Australian National University, said that the black hole in question is growing so quickly that it’s shining thousands of times more brightly than an entire galaxy, all because of the gases it sucks in daily that cause lots of friction and heat.

He added that the black hole would appear 10 times brighter than a full moon if it was found sitting at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. It would appear so bright that it would almost wash out all of the stars in the sky.
The astronomers claim that the light detected from the black hole likely originates from about 12 billion years ago. It mostly emits ultraviolet light.

“We don’t know how this one grew so large, so quickly in the early days of the universe,” Wolf said.

The scientists are hopeful that such distant black holes will help them study the early universe. Its discovery has also encouraged the scientists to search for even bigger quasars.

About the author

Megha Kedia

Megha Kedia

Megha is a seasoned reporter with over six years of experience covering news in technology, science and related fields. At The Space News, Megha covers space research & technology news.

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