The mega black hole that is said to be growing faster than any black hole in the universe today was found by scientists from the Australian National University (ANU).
The supermassive black hole, also known as a quasar, is very ancient. "The European Space Agency's Gaia satellite, which measures tiny motions of celestial objects, helped us find this supermassive black hole", Dr Wolf said.
"Black holes at the centres of galaxies reach masses of over ten billion times that of our sun", the researchers write in their paper.
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.
A black hole is essentially an intense gravitational pull that sucks in everything in its path - including light. Improved technology on ground-based telescopes coming online over the next decade will also be able to directly measure the expansion of the universe using the very bright black holes. "It would appear as an incredibly bright pin-point star that would nearly wash out all of the stars in the sky", said Dr.
Astronomers estimate that this mystifying quasar is 20 billion times the mass of our sun and is growing at an incredibly fast rate of one percent every one million years. They used ANU's own Skymapper Southern Sky Survey and the European Space Agency's Gaia satellite data to home in on the beast.
Detecting the fastest growing black hole was a bit of an ordeal, and Wolf's team managed to discover it while they were searching using the SkyMapper telescope at the ANU Siding Spring Observatory in Coonabarabran, New South Wales.
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.
As well as its ravenous appetite, it would likely emit so many X-rays, life probably couldn't exist. Wolf said that the reason is that the large amount of gases it takes in every day causes much heat and friction.
"We don't have to be afraid of that".
"So this means it's far, far away in another galaxy and it will never drift and come over here."
Wolf painted a vivid picture of what the supermassive black hole would look like from Earth if it were located in the center of our galaxy.
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