Science

Mega black hole could devour the Sun

Mega black hole could devour the Sun”

There is a supermassive black hole at the centre of our own galaxy, but compared to this one, it's a lightweight.

A team of researchers has reportedly found the fastest-growing black hole ever in the universe. Wolf's team used the SkyMapper telescope at the ANU Siding Spring Observatory to detect the light in the near-infrared, because it had red-shifted over the billions of light years towards Earth.

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. Light can take millions to billions of years to travel depending on the distance between Earth and a distant point in space, which means objects seen at present would appear as they were several eons ago. Apparently, what baffled the scientists was that this black hole expands at such an accelerated pace that, in accordance to the current theories, it must have about 20 billion times the mass of our Sun.

"If we had this monster sitting at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, it would appear 10 times brighter than a full moon".

What's making astronomers so curious is that the black hole they saw was in the early days of the universe and they're wondering how it grew so large.

Luckily, the black hole sits far beyond.

"As the universe expands, space expands and that stretches the light waves and changes their color", Wolf clarified.

Christian Wolf from the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Australian National University in Canberra.

The study was published May 11 in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia.

Most of the energy coming from the quasar is ultraviolet light.

"Surprisingly we have found such massive black holes already in the early universe, just 800 million years after the Big Bang". 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.

"There's a big mystery about how these supermassive black holes form, because we don't understand how something could get that big that quickly; our normal theories don't work", she says.

At the same time, the rare quasar could shed more light - quite literally, as it shines bright enough to make nearby objects visible, notes ANU - into how elements are formed in the universe's oldest galaxies.

"Fast-growing supermassive black holes also help to clear the fog around them by ionising gases, which makes the universe more transparent".

"The hunt is on to find even faster-growing black holes", said Wolf.



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