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Astronomers discover the fastest-growing black hole ever

Astronomers discover the fastest-growing black hole ever

The large gap, codenamed QSO SMSS J215728.21-360215.1, is the stunning size of around 20 billion suns and develops at a rate of 200 million suns over a 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.

ANU astronomer Dr Christian Wolf said if the hole was in the centre of our Milky Way galaxy, we probably wouldn't be here.

"It would appear as an incredibly bright pin-point star that would nearly wash out all of the stars in the sky", Dr Wolf told 7 News.

As Dr. Christian Wolf of the Australian National University explained, this finding represents a big problem for astrophysics which, until now, was pretty much sure that supernovae turn into black holes which are up to 50 solar masses and can not exceed this limitation. But astronomers have spotted the fastest growing back hole ever seen and its voracious appetite actually makes it shine nearly inconceivably bright. So if Wolf is right, this insane black hole is sending out an nearly incomprehensible amount of sterilizing radiation that essentially renders an entire corner of the cosmos inhospitable to life as we know it. Also, there's no reason to panic according to Dr. Wolf.

The team of researchers found the void with SkyMapper, an optical telescope in Australia, and the European Space Agency's Gaia satellite, and NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer.

This supermassive black hole is the fastest-growing quasar in the known universe.

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Not that you'd know, because the x-rays emanating from it would make life on Earth impossible.

If black holes were already a total mystery to scientists, they now face a much greater mystery.

Mr. Wolf indicated that the energy emitted by the black hole, also known as quasar, was composed of ultraviolet light and X-rays. Since it's so far away, the rays it emitted changed their formation and trajectory several times before reaching us.

Astronomers believe they may form when a large cloud of gas up to 100,000 times bigger than the sun, collapses into a black hole. But the 2.3-meter telescope allowed them to detect the light in near-infrared and really understand the scope of the discovery.

Now scientists are on the hunt for another black hole that might beat out this black hole's appetite and give them a glimpse into the inner workings of the universe only a few billion years after it formed.

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


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