Fastest growing black hole of the universe discovered | Representation photo via Getty Images
Fastest growing black hole known in the universe has been discovered by scientists. The boffins are describing it as a monster that can eat mass equivalent to our Sun every two days.
The astronomers have went back more than 12 billion years to learn more about the early ages of the universe.
Artist’s conception of the most-distant supermassive black hole ever discovered, which is part of a quasar from just 690 million years after the Big Bang is shown in this illustration released on December 6, 2017 | Photo: Robin Dienel/Carnegie Institution for Science/Handout via REUTERS
Back then, this black hole was supermassive and estimated to be the the size of about 20 billion suns with a one per cent growth rate every million years.
This black hole is growing so rapidly that it’s shining thousands of times more brightly than an entire galaxy, due to all of the gases it sucks in daily that cause lots of friction and heat. If we had this monster sitting at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy, it would appear 10 times brighter than a full moon. It would appear as an incredibly bright pin-point star that would almost wash out all of the stars in the sky.
– Christian Wolf from Australian National University (ANU)
The supermassive and fastest growing black hole emits energy known as quasar but mostly it is the ultraviolet light along with radiated X-rays.
“Again, if this monster was at the centre of the Milky Way it would likely make life on Earth impossible with the huge amounts of X-rays emanating from it,” Wolf said.
The SkyMapper telescope at the ANU Siding Spring Observatory detected this light in the near-infrared, as the light waves had red-shifted over the billions of light years to Earth.
As the universe expands, space expands and that stretches the light waves and changes their colour. These large and rapidly-growing blackholes are exceedingly rare, and we have been searching for them with SkyMapper for several months now. The European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite, which measures tiny motions of celestial objects, helped us find this supermassive black hole.
– Christian Wolf
The Gaia satellite confirmed the object that they had found was sitting still, which means that it was far away and it was a candidate to be a very large quasar.
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.
This artists concept released October 30, 2017 shows a black hole with an accretion disk – a flat structure of material orbiting the black hole – and a jet of hot gas, called plasma | Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS
Wolk explained the quick growth of the newly discovered black hole.
We don’t know how this one grew so large, so quickly in the early days of the Universe. Scientists can see the shadows of objects in front of the supermassive black hole. Fast-growing supermassive black holes also help to clear the fog around them by ionising gases, which makes the universe more transparent.
– Christian Wolf
According to Wolf, as these types of black holes shine, they can be used and guiding lights to see and study the formation of elements in the early galaxies of the universe.
(With inputs from PTI)