A team of scientists just discovered the fastest growing mega black hole in the universe to date.
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). They described the black hole as a “monster” that reportedly devours a mass equivalent to the size of our Sun every two days.
“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 causes lots of friction and heat,” Dr. Christian Wolf of the ANU’s Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics said.
“If we had this monster sitting at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, it would appear ten times brighter than a full moon. It would appear as an incredibly bright pinpoint star that would almost wash out all of the stars in the sky.”
Supermassive black holes, or quasars, like this one, are hard to find among the billions of stars spread across the cosmos. However, the SkyMapper telescope at the ANU Siding Spring Observatory was able to detect the ultraviolet light emitted by the quasar.
“That one has a mass of 5 million solar masses — that is 40,000 times less mass than the one that we have now found,” Dr. Wold added. “We estimate that this black hole has a mass of at least 20 billion times the mass of the Sun.”
According to the scientists, we are fortunate that this mega black hole is not sitting at the center of our galaxy. Otherwise, it could potentially emit tons of X-rays, making it impossible for life to exist. Also, there’s no reason to panic according to Dr. Wolf.
“We don’t have to be afraid of that. It is very far away. So this means it’s far, far away in another galaxy and it will never drift and come over here,” he said.