Australian astronomers find black hole as big as 20 billion suns

Australian astronomers find black hole as big as 20 billion suns

Scientists at ANU have found the fastest growing black hole in the space which they have described as a monster that swallows mass equivalent to our Sun every two days.

Scientists estimate that the newly found supermassive black hole - technically known as QSO SMSS J215728.21-360215.1 - is the size of 20 billion Suns and is growing at a rate of 1 percent per million years.

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.

That light was measured by the SkyMapper telescope at the Siding Spring Observatory at the Australian National University.

Wolf said if it was at the centre of the Milky Way, it would appear 10 times brighter than a full moon as a pin-point star that would nearly wash out all the stars in the sky. "If this monster were in the center of the Milky Way it would probably make life on Earth impossible because of the large number of X-rays it emanates", the astronomer said. It would appear as an incredibly bright pin-point star that would nearly wash out all of the stars in the sky'.

Astronomers might be able to probe the formation of early galaxies by looking at the light streaming from these mysterious monsters, Wolf said.

GETTYEarth is not in danger however
GETTYEarth is not in danger however

Such supermassive black holes, also called quasars, can actually emit energy. If the hole were closer to us, it would look brighter than a full moon. The bright and x-beam light now shows up as infrared, making it feasible for the specialists to identify the quasar.

Astronomers are stumped by its enormous size and can't quite tell how the supermassive black hole grew that much so rapidly at a time when the universe was still so young.

Space experts have detected the greediest supermassive dark opening experiencing the speediest development spurt around 12 billion years back.

Dr Wolf and his team have spent six months searching for "exceedingly rare" large and rapidly-growing black holes using the state-of-the-art SkyMapper telescope.

Supermassive black holes - or quasars - are hard to find among the billions of stars in the universe. Researchers can spot the shadows of other objects in front of the black holes, and their radiation also helps clear away obscuring gas.

The breakthrough was made because of the precision of the European Space Agency's Gaia mission, which allows the Earth-bound SkyMapper to more precisely bypass the "contamination" from cool stars in the Milky Way, which may get in the way.


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