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Biggest Black Hole Yet Noticed Boggles the Human Mind

Biggest Black Hole Yet Noticed Boggles the Human Mind

Astronomers in Australia have discovered the fastest-growing black hole ever found.

This supermassive black hole is about the size of 20 billion stars, and it continues to grow at a rate of 1 percent per 1 million years.

To find this "monster" of a black hole, the researchers had to peer some 12 billion light-years across space - which also means they're seeing the object as it would have looked 12 billion years ago, not too long after the Big Bang.

Dr Wolf said it's "actually remarkably hard to find these very fast-growing and very massive black holes because they are rare and (it's) not easy to tell them apart from other stars in our Milky Way". 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 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.

The researchers spotted light from the object in the near-infrared. 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.

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Alternatively, a supermassive black hole seed could come from a giant star, about 100 times the sun's mass, that ultimately forms into a black hole after it runs out of fuel and collapses. Now the challenge is to work out how these objects were able to grow so fast, to such large sizes, so early in the formation of the Universe. Wolf and his colleagues spotted the light with the SkyMapper telescope at the ANU Siding Spring Observatory.

The energy coming from the quasar or black hole is mostly ultraviolet light and radiated x-rays. He has worked as a journalist in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and joined the Times in March 2018.

The discovery of the new supermassive black hole was confirmed using the spectrograph on the ANU 2.3 metre telescope to split colours into spectral lines. Meanwhile, the Gaia satellite, which measures tiny motions of celestial objects, identified the back hole as a stationary object, which suggested it was very large and very far away.

Wolf explains how they found the bright black hole.

A team of scientists just discovered the fastest growing mega black hole in the universe to date.


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