Scientists watch fastest-growing black hole ever 'eat'

New data reveals the fastest-growing black hole that eats a mass equal to the Earth's sun every two days.
By Tyler MacDonald | May 15, 2018
A team of researchers has discovered the fastest-growing black hole ever and observed it consume a mass equal to the Earth's sun every two days, according to Space.com. The data was obtained using the European Space Agency's Gaia satellite to confirm that the object is a black hole.

It was reportedly as heavy as approximately 20 billion suns when the light was released, and was growing at a rate of 1 percent every million years.

"This black hole is growing so rapidly that it's shining thousands of times more brightly than an entire galaxy, due to all the gases it sucks in daily that cause lots of friction and heat," said astronomer Christian Wolf, first author on the study."If we had this monster sitting at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, it would appear 10 times brighter than a full moon. It would appear as an incredibly bright, pinpoint star that would almost wash out all of the stars in the sky."

"We don't know how this one grew so large, so quickly in the early days of the universe," he added. "The hunt is on to find even faster-growing black holes."

Distant black holes such as this can help researchers better understand the early universe.

The data is set to be published in Publications of the Astronomical Society of America.

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