Astronomers Discover Fastest-Growing Black Hole In Space

Posted: May 20 2018, 1:25pm CDT | by , Updated: May 20 2018, 1:32pm CDT , in Latest Science News


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Astronomers Discover Fastest-Growing Black Hole in Space
Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA

The newfound black hole is shining thousands of times more brightly than an entire galaxy

Thanks to data collected by SkyMapper telescope at Siding Spring Observatory, astronomers have detected what is likely to be the fastest-growing black hole ever found in the universe. The newfound black hole is estimated to be the size of 20 billion suns and it took more than 12 billion years for its light to reach Earth. The black hole got so huge that it eats mass equivalent to a sun every two days.

"This black hole is growing so rapidly that it's shining thousands of times more brightly than an entire galaxy, due to all of the gases it sucks in daily that cause lots of friction and heat. If we had this monster sitting at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy, it would appear 10 times brighter than a full moon. It would appear as an incredibly bright pin-point star that would almost wash out all of the stars in the sky.” Lead researcher Christian Wolf from Australian National University said in a statement.

Most massive black holes in known universe are not actively devouring matter and consequently they do not give off much light or other radiation. But they can swallow objects like stars that wander too close to them. As the stellar material travel inwards, it heats up to millions of degrees and generates distinct X-rays. The newly discovered supermassive black hole emits both ultraviolet light and radiated x-rays. The discovery was also confirmed by using the spectrograph on the ANU 2.3 meter telescope.

“We don't know how this one grew so large, so quickly in the early days of the Universe," said Dr Wolf. "These large and rapidly-growing black holes are exceedingly rare, and we have been searching for them with SkyMapper for several months now.”

Data from this massive black hole is incredibly valuable to astronomers in their effort to understand the growth of all types of black holes.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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