The fastest growing black hole in the universe is 34 billion times the mass of our sun and canyons on almost the equivalent of an entire sun a day, according to a study
- The black hole – called J2157 – is billions of light years away from planet Earth
- It overshadows that in the Milky Way, which is four million times the size of the sun
- But it's not the biggest. Abell 85 is said to have four billion times as much sun
The fastest growing black hole in the universe is 34 billion times the size of our solar mass and consumes the equivalent of the entire sun every day, according to a new study.
Scientists say the black hole – called J2157 – is astonishingly 8,000 times larger than that in the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way, which is only four million times larger than our sun.
To grow to the same size, around two thirds of the stars in the Milky Way would have to be included.
J2157 is far from Earth and the light from its location must travel billions of years before it reaches our planet. Scientists can therefore only look at it at the age of 1.2 billion years – less than a tenth of its current age.
It stops just before the largest black hole, Abell 85, with a mass of 40 billion suns.
The fastest growing black hole – J2157 – is shown in the middle. It's billions of years away from Earth, so scientists look at it at 1.2 billion years, less than a tenth of its current age
The fastest growing black hole was first identified in 2018 by scientists from the Australian National University.
Since then, they have been working to calculate their mass and their results have been published today in monthly reports from the Royal Astronomical Society.
"We knew we were on a very massive black hole when we saw its rapid growth rate," said team member Dr. Fuyan Bian, astronomer at the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
“How much black holes can swallow depends on how much mass they already have.
“In order for this topic to be swallowed up so quickly, we thought it could become a new record holder. And now we know. & # 39;
The black hole is much larger than that in the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way, which is only four million times larger than our sun
The largest black hole in the universe is Abell 85 – first seen in 2009 (artist impression)
BLACK HOLES HAVE A GRAVITATIONAL PULL THAT IS SO STRONG THAT LIGHT CANNOT EVEN
Black holes are so dense and so attractive that no form of radiation can escape them – not even light.
They act as intense sources of gravity that draw dust and gas around them. Their intense attraction is believed to be what stars orbits in galaxies.
How they are formed is still poorly understood. Astronomers believe that they can form when a large gas cloud, up to 100,000 times larger than the sun, falls into a black hole.
Many of these black hole seeds then merge into much larger supermassive black holes that are at the center of every known massive galaxy.
Alternatively, a supermassive black hole seed could come from a giant star that is about 100 times the Sun's mass and will eventually form a black hole after running out of fuel and collapsing.
When these giant stars die, they become "Supernova", a huge explosion that drives matter out of the outer layers of the star into space.
The black hole, also known as the quasar due to its size, was examined with ESO's large telescope in Chile, where measurements were recorded to estimate the mass of the black hole.
It is also estimated to be the brightest black hole ever seen, which is probably a result of its size.
"With such a huge black hole, we're also excited to see what we can learn about the galaxy in which it grows," said Dr. Christopher Onken, who was involved in the study.
"Is this galaxy one of the giants of the early universe, or has the black hole just swallowed up an extraordinary amount of its surroundings? We have to keep digging to find out. & # 39;
Astronomers identified the largest black hole found – Abell 85 – in 2009.
It is hidden in the massive Holm 15A galaxy, 700 million light-years from Earth, which scientists believe was created when several galaxies were collapsed.
A team of astronomers estimated its mass after taking pictures of the stars in orbit around the hole and using a model to calculate its size.
"The super-massive black hole of Holm 15A is not only the most massive to date, it is also four to nine times larger than expected," said Kianusch Mehrgan from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany.
Her work was previously published in arXiv magazine.
The preliminary paper, announcing the discovery of the black hole, is estimated to have a mass of around 260 billion.
It was suspected that two galaxies and their black holes were merged to form Abell 85.
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