This Bright Supermassive Black Hole Eats a Sun Every Two Days


This Bright Supermassive Black Hole Eats a Sun Every Two Days

The Australian astronomers are calling it a "monster" black hole and reveal that it eats up a mass equivalent to our sun every two days.

The astronomers have looked back more than 12 billion years to the early dark ages of the Universe, when this supermassive black hole was estimated to be the size of about 20 billion suns with a one per cent growth rate every one million years.

However, the supermassive black hole is at a distance of 12 billion light-years, meaning that what the astronomers saw happened 12 billion years ago.

"It would appear 10 times brighter than a full moon and nearly wash out all of the stars in the sky". 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.

Christian Wolf of the ANU's Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics said.

For those trying to unlock the secrets of the universe, the bigger a black hole is, the better.

With giant new ground-based telescopes now under construction, scientists will also be able to use bright, distant objects like this voracious black hole to measure the universe's expansion, the researchers said.

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Hence, it is fortunate for the mankind that the black hole is located far beyond.

Dubbed J215728.21-360215.1, the supermassive black hole was recently noticed by the before-mentioned Dr. Wolf and his colleagues.

If this shining, feeding black hole, also called a quasar, were at the center of our Milky Way, it would likely make Earth uninhabitable due to the X-rays emitted by it, Wolf added in the Australian National University statement. It is not known, however, how a black hole could grow so large, so early in the universe, and the ANU team is already on the hunt for other, faster-growing quasars to learn more.

According to Wolf, this kind of black holes that are both fast-growing and incredibly large are "exceedingly rare" to find and could actually be used to measure the expansion of the universe.

The study, titled "Discovery of the most ultra-luminous QSO using Gaia, SkyMapper, and WISE", will be detailed in Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia and the arXiv preprint is available online.

We know that black holes get their extra mass because of the gravitational pull, through which they literally absorb materials around them, even light.

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