Newly discovered black hole is fastest growing on record

A newly discovered black hole grows at a faster rate than any other one on record.
By Joseph Scalise | Jan 09, 2019
A group of astronomers in Australia have uncovered the fastest growing black hole known to science, according to a new study accepted for publication in thePublications of the Astronomical Society of Australia.

The distant void grows at a rate of 1 percent every 1 million years and it is so big that it consumes a mass equivalent to our Sun every two days.

Such traits are exciting because large black holes serve as a great way for scientists to get a glimpse into and better understand the universe.

"What's really important in this business is now to actually find the most massive ones because they are the hardest ones to explain," said lead author Christian Wolf, a researcher at Australia National University's Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, according toMSN.

Supermassive black holes -- also known as quasars -- are some of the hardest to find formations in the universe because of how well they blend in with the backdrop of countless stars. However, for the recent study, scientists detected the massive black hole by finding the ultra-violet light coming off of it.

Not only did their analysis show that it is incredibly massive, but it also revealed that the hole is extremely old. Estimates found that the light traveled 12 billion years to reach Earth. That time frame suggests it was around when the universe was just 1.2 billion years old.

That date is interesting because scientists are not sure how a quasar would grow that big so early on in the history of the universe. In that way, further study of the body could not only alter the common perception of black holes, it could change the way researchers understand how the universe first came to be.

"There's a big mystery about how these supermassive black holes form, because we don't understand how something could get that big that quickly; our normal theories don't work," saidTamara Davis, an astrophysicist at the University of Queensland who was not involved in the research, according "And it might mean that there were seeds to these black holes in the very early universe...So, it actually has implications for how the universe began and what mechanism triggered the big bang."


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