Astronomers discover fastest-growing black hole ever

Posted May 17, 2018

It had the mass of about 20 billion suns when the image was taken, and the ESA says that it is growing by one percent every million years.

In a recent related news story, researchers from the University of Florida and the University of Texas at San Antonio reported their discovery of a black hole (about 10-15 solar masses) that also showed weak magnetic field than expected.

ANU astronomer Dr Christian Wolf said if the hole was in the centre of our Milky Way galaxy, we probably wouldn't be here. Wolf further added that it would have appeared as an unbelievably bright "pin-point star", which could wash out almost every star present in the celestial sphere.

Artist's rendering of the accretion disk of a supermassive black hole, located within a very distant quasar.

However, he did then add the caveat: "It's billions of light years away, so don't cancel your weekend plans". This is why the most recent black hole that scientists have discovered could be the stuff of nightmares based on just how fast it devours everything around it.

Wolf said it's likely that there are more of these massive black holes in the universe.

Mr. Wolf indicated that the energy emitted by the black hole, also known as quasar, was composed of ultraviolet light and X-rays.

The supermassive black hole is so powerful, that if it were at the centre of the Milky Way, all life on earth would be impossible.

This black hole started when the Universe, which is about 14 billion years old, was only 1.2 billion years old.

Australian National University (ANU) astronomers have looked back more than 12 billion years to the early dark ages of the universe to find this fastest-growing black hole.

Astronomers have identified the fastest-growing black hole in the universe.

Not only would the light from this black hole be blinding to those looking to the night sky, its radiation would be so powerful that it might have killed all life on Earth.

"As the universe expands, space expands and that stretches the light waves and changes their color", Wolf clarified.

Dr Wolf said the Gaia satellite confirmed the object that they had found was sitting still, meaning that it was far away and it was a candidate to be a very large quasar. Now the challenge is to work out how these objects were able to grow so fast, to such large sizes, so early in the formation of the Universe. So if Wolf is right, this insane black hole is sending out an nearly incomprehensible amount of sterilizing radiation that essentially renders an entire corner of the cosmos inhospitable to life as we know it.