Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

Fast Growing Mega Black Hole Discovered by Researchers

NASA  JPL-CaltechAn artist’s impression supermassive black hole NASA JPL-CaltechAn artist’s impression supermassive black hole
Velma Reese | 15 May, 2018, 21:51

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".

Astronomers estimate that this mystifying quasar is 20 billion times the mass of our sun and is growing at an incredibly fast rate of one percent every one million years.

If the sun were to fall into this incredibly dense cosmic object, it would only take two days for the black hole to devour it, the scientists behind the new discovery have said.

The black hole is estimated to be the size of 20 billion suns.

He adds that "if we had this monster sitting at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, it would appear 10 times brighter than a full moon". 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. "The European Space Agency's Gaia satellite, which measures tiny motions of celestial objects, helped us find this supermassive black hole". This also helped with its detection as light waves from the black hole red-shifted during their long journey to Earth, allowing the astronomers to use ANU's SkyMapper telescope to detect them in near-infrared. They believe objects like these are extremely rare but could be the key to gain more insight into the beginning and expansion of our universe.

"We don't know how this one grew so large, so quickly in the early days of the universe", Wolf said.

Putin to open mega bridge linking Crimea to Russian Federation
Putin at the wheel of Kamaz headed the convoy of the vehicles and cargo equipment that made the first trip over the bridge. When opened for traffic on Wednesday, it will be able to carry up to 40,000 cars per day on four lanes.

With giant new ground-based telescopes now under construction, scientists will also be able to use bright, distant objects like this voracious black hole to measure the universe's expansion, the researchers said.

"It would likely make life on Earth impossible with the huge amounts of X-rays emanating from it", Dr Wolf said.

Hence, it is fortunate for the mankind that the black hole is located far beyond.

Given its distance from Earth, Dr Wolf said it would have formed when the universe, which was formed 13.8 billion years ago, was just 1.3 billion years old.

"Scientists can see the shadows of objects in front of the supermassive black hole", he said.

That said, they think improving technology and advanced ground-based telescopes coming over the next decade should be able to leverage black holes like these to understand how our universe has been growing. "It is very far away", he says.

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