Astronomers at the Australian National University (ANU), led by Dr Christian Wolf of the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, found the fastest-growing black hole known in the universe by looking back more than 12 billion years to what they call "the early dark ages of the universe".
If we had this monster sitting in the center of our Milky Way, it would look 10 times brighter than a full moon.
In this case, the researchers discovered the black hole which, according to their estimates, was as big as 20 billion suns and growing by a percent every one million years.
"What's really important in this business is now to actually find the most massive ones because they are the hardest ones to explain", he says. Pictured, a bright supermassive black hole. It is not known, however, how a black hole could grow so large, so early in the universe, and the ANU team is already on the hunt for other, faster-growing quasars to learn more.More news: Apple Has Bigger Autonomous Car Fleet Than Uber, Tesla, Google
Experts said is the black hole exists in the Milky Way galaxy, life would be impossible on Earth.
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. This even helped in detecting it as the light waves generated from that black hole get red-shifted at the time of their prolonged journey to the Earth. "It would appear as an incredibly bright pinpoint star that would nearly wash out all of the stars in the sky", he added.
"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.
A black hole is an intense gravitational pull that sucks in everything in its path including light. Wolf said that the reason is that the large amount of gases it takes in every day causes much heat and friction.More news: Putin drives across new bridge linking Moscow-annexed Crimea to Russian Federation
However, he did then add the caveat: "It's billions of light years away, so don't cancel your weekend plans". "So this means it's far, far away in another galaxy and it will never drift and come over here", he said. That would be right after the Big Bang.
Black holes of such huge size and with such rapid growth are very rare to spot.
In a paper due to appear in Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, the ANU team explained that they spotted the fast-growing quasar by combining motion data from the European Space Agency's Gaia satellite with photometry from the SkyMapper and NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).More news: S. Korean leader praises North's plan to dismantle nuke site