Fast Growing Mega Black Hole Discovered by Researchers

HeraldScotland

You can't see it, but 12 billion light years away up among the billions of stars deep in the mysterious universe is a black hole that's growing alarmingly quickly. The black hole is about 20 billion times bigger than the Sun and growing at an unbelievable speed - 1% with each passing million years. This also helped with its detection as light waves from the black hole red-shifted during their long journey to Earth, allowing the astronomers to use ANU's SkyMapper telescope to detect them in near-infrared.

Wolf said that if the black hole had been located at the central position of the Milky Way galaxy, it would have appeared near about ten times brighter as compared to a full moon.

In fact, if this "monster" black hole was at the heart of our galaxy, its enormous X-ray output would likely make life on Earth impossible, he said.

While researchers were looking at the early universe, they stumbled upon this monster black hole.

Discovering objects like this old quasar will likewise enable researchers to test the extension of the universe.

While it appears that black holes suck in matter, the material does not necessarily fall into it.

That said, they think improving technology and advanced ground-based telescopes coming over the next decade should be able to leverage black holes like these to understand how our universe has been growing.


"Scientists can see the shadows of objects in front of the supermassive black hole", he said.

Black holes are classified into three groups: primordial, stellar, and supermassive. Christian Wolf of the ANU's Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics said. He has worked as a journalist in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and joined the Times in March 2018.

The researchers followed up their detection with data from the Gaia satellite, and confirmed it as a supermassive black hole using the spectrograph on the ANU 2.3 meter telescope.

"That one has a mass of 5 million solar masses - that is 40,000 times less mass than the one that we have now found", Dr Wolf says. It would appear as an incredibly bright pin-point star that would nearly wash out all of the stars in the sky, "said Christian Wolf, lead author of the study and a researcher from the Australian National University".

If it sat at the heart of our own galaxy, researchers say the supermassive black hole would wipe out any chance of life on Earth.

In addition, these fast-growing quasars help clear the fog around transiting objects, "which makes the universe more transparent", said Wolf.

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