Astronomers Have Found a Monstrous Black Hole That's Eating Stars Shockingly Fast

Astronomers Have Found a Monstrous Black Hole That's Eating Stars Shockingly Fast

They have found that the void is devouring a mass of the universe every two days which is the equivalent to our sun.

Researchers used newly released data from the European Space Agency's Gaia satellite to confirm that the brightly shining object is a black hole, which appears to have been the mass of about 20 billion suns when the light was released and was growing by 1 percent every million years, researchers said in a statement released today (May 15).

The so-called supermassive black hole is more than 12 billion light years away and thought to be the size of 20 billion of our suns.

And it's a good thing this monster black hole isn't at the centre of our Milky Way. 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.

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

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

Dubbed J215728.21-360215.1, the supermassive black hole was recently noticed by the before-mentioned Dr. Wolf and his colleagues.

We know that black holes get their extra mass because of the gravitational pull, through which they literally absorb materials around them, even light. Wolf and his colleagues spotted the light with the SkyMapper telescope at the ANU Siding Spring Observatory.

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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.

The energy radiated from supermassive black holes ionizes the surrounding gas and contributes cosmic reionization, where neutral atoms break apart into their constituent parts: electrons, protons, and neutrons.

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.

The new work was accepted to the journal Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia.

"While objects of this luminosity are exceedingly rare in the Universe, they are particularly valuable as bright background and reference sources in order to study the properties of intervening matter along the line-of-sight, and for directly probing the expansion of our Universe with new instruments in the coming decades", the authors reported.

Though the team has no idea how this monstrous black hole grew so big when the universe was still in its infancy, they plan to continue their search for other fast-growing black holes, possibly faster than this one, in the universe.

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.

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