Astronomers have found the fastest-growing black hole ever seen, and it's got a monster appetite

CNN Lifestyle 4 months ago

Astronomers have found the fastest-growing black hole ever seen in the universe, and they're calling this one a monster with an appetite. It's growing so fast it can devour a mass the size of the sun every two days.

Researchers at Australian National University first discovered this supermassive black hole, also known as a quasar, when data from a telescope called the SkyMapper flagged it as an object of potential interest. Then they used data from the European Space Agency's Gaia satellite to determine how far away it was. They found that it took more than 12 billion years for the light from this massive black hole to reach Earth. It's the brightest quasar that can be seen in visual or ultraviolet light.

"The heat radiation from the matter falling into the black hole, which is the light we see, is a few thousand times brighter than our own Milky Way galaxy," Christian Wolf, the lead researcher on the university's team of astronomers, wrote in an email to CNN.

It calls existing science into question

The discovery of this massive black hole calls the existing science about black holes into question. Black holes have a speed limit that determines how fast they grow, which is proportional to their mass.

Right now, this massive black hole is the size of at least 20 billion suns. Going back in time about 1.2 billion years after the Big Bang using the speed limit formula, Wolf said this black hole must have started out as the size of 5,000 suns. Average black holes are about the size of 50 suns. So scientists are puzzled at how this massive black hole got so ... massive.

"So, either black holes can grow faster than the speed limit, but we don't know how that works, and we have not seen it yet in action, or there is an unknown way to make 5,000 solar mass black holes very close in time to the Big Bang," Wolf said. "But who knows what happened in the dark early ages of the universe?"

The discovery could give us more insight into the Big Bang, Wolf said.

The hunt is on to learn more

"Perhaps this is already telling us something about rather unusual processes close to or related to the Big Bang," he said. "What happened there that is not yet part of the standard picture?"

Wolf said it's likely that there are more of these massive black holes in the universe. In fact, this finding already shows that astronomers have overlooked bright and distant quasars hiding in plain sight. But the more they discover, the more questions they seem to come across.

"The hunt is on," Wolf said. "We want to get a complete picture of the demographics of fast-growing supermassive black holes in the universe, and see just how big is the problem which we have to solve."


Tags: health
Source link
Read also:
The Sun 4 months ago
MICHELLE Keegan looked stunning in a black strapless jumpsuit as she enjoyed a day in the park with friends. The former Coronation Street actress hot...
Forbes 4 months ago
As a Software Engineering Manager, how can I continue growing my technical skills? This question was originally answered on Quora by Osman Ahmed...
The Sun Technology 4 months ago
SECURITY researchers today announced that they had found a flaw in the way emails are encrypted that could let hackers read almost any email you've...
The Telegraph Incident 4 months ago
Dir: Alejandro Fadel Cast: Victor Lopez, Esteban Bigliardi, Tania Casciani, Stephane Rideau Cert TBC, 109 mins. It’s a long time before we get a...
The Huffington Post 4 months ago
“Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler thinks it would be “amazing” to do a spinoff film featuring the badass women of Wakanda. “Oh man. That would be...
The Verge Technology 4 months ago
The slow, steady march of Monster Hunter continues with news that a live-action film based on the Capcom game series is in the works. According to...
The Verge Technology 4 months ago
European security researchers have found an alarming new vulnerability in the most common forms of email encryption. The attack, described in a...
Fox News 4 months ago
ORLANDO, Fla. – Authorities in Florida have identified a woman whose body was found in a retention pond. Orange County Sheriff's spokesman Jeff...
OCRegister Incident 4 months ago
JULIAN — Remains of three people have been found in the wreckage of a small plane that went down and sparked a wildfire in a rugged area of eastern...
UPI.com 4 months ago
May 14 (UPI) -- A 5-year-old girl was hospitalized after beiing attacked by a black bear in the yard of her Grand Junction, Colo., home. The girl...
One click to connect
Select a social network to associate your account