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Fast Growing Mega Black Hole Discovered by Researchers

Fast Growing Mega Black Hole Discovered by Researchers

Scientists at the Australian National University have discovered the Universe's fastest-growing black hole, a monster that gobbles up a mass the same size as Earth's Sun once every two days.

However, the supermassive black hole is at a distance of 12 billion light-years, meaning that what the astronomers saw happened 12 billion years ago.

Unlike black holes, resulting from the collapse of stars, their mass several million times more solar. The ultraviolet and x-ray light now appears as infrared, making it possible for the researchers to detect the quasar.

And it's a good thing this monster black hole isn't at the centre of our Milky Way.

But it wouldn't much matter, since the oodles of x-rays emanating from this great void would probably make life on Earth impossible.

The researchers followed up their detection with data from the Gaia satellite, and confirmed it as a supermassive black hole using the spectrograph on the ANU 2.3 meter telescope.

Dubbed J215728.21-360215.1, the supermassive black hole was recently noticed by the before-mentioned Dr. Wolf and his colleagues.

READ NEXT: What are black holes?

'As the universe expands, space expands and that stretches the light waves and changes their colour, ' Wolf said.

'It would appear as an incredible bright pin-point star that would nearly wash out all of the stars in the sky'.

Dr Wolf said as these kinds of black holes shine, they can be used as beacons to see and study the formation of elements in the early galaxies of the Universe.

But don't panic - Dr Wolf says it won't suck us in. Researchers can spot the shadows of other objects in front of the black holes, and their radiation also helps clear away obscuring gas. 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.

Could this have triggered the big bang?

That's a puzzle for scientists, who don't understand how quasars grew so big, so early in the history of the universe.

If this bright black hole would have been in our galaxy, astronomers say that it would outshine all the stars in the sky. Wolf further added that the research is still going on to hunt for more faster-evolving black holes. He has worked as a journalist in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and joined the Times in March 2018.

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