Many are the occasions when astronomers surprise us with findings that literally leave the entire community speechless, one test after another that does nothing but demonstrate the immensity of the universe that surrounds us and how, literally we only know a small part of its composition.
On this occasion I want us to talk about a rather striking discovery since, apparently, a group of astronomers have managed to locate the one that they have not hesitated to baptize as the fastest growing black hole in the entire discovered universe. Such is its magnitude and strength that it appears to be absorbing the equivalent of the mass of our Sun every two days.
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This is the fastest growing black hole discovered in the entire universe
Going into a little more detail, as has been revealed in the paper published by the group of astronomers, apparently this giant black hole is located about 12 billion light years from Earth which, in turn, means that today we are seeing the object as it would have been seen 12 billion years ago, not too long after the Big Bang.
Apparently we can see this black hole today thanks to its impressive brightness. To put this a little better in context and understand how something that exists 12 billion light years away can be seen, tell you that if this impressive black hole were located inside the Milky Way, it would it would be brighter than a full moon on Earth. According to astronomers, it seems that its illumination is such that the rest of the stars that are around it appear dim.
Based on the statements made by Christian Wolf, one of the project directors and professor and researcher at the Australian National University:
This black hole is growing so fast that it is shining thousands of times brighter than an entire galaxy, due to all the gases that it absorbs on a daily basis, which in turn causes a lot of friction and heat.
If we had this monster sitting in the center of our Milky Way, it would appear 10 times brighter than the full Moon. It would look like an incredibly bright star that would almost eliminate every star in the sky.
Thanks to new satellite and telescope technologies, astronomers are beginning to discover these impressive giants
But not only because of the brightness it is capable of emitting, this impressive one stands out, in terms of proportion and power, this black hole since, if it is located in the Milky Way, it would literally have the power to end all life on Earth due to the X-rays that are emitted as the black hole continues to try to satiate its voracity.
Apparently and according to the estimates made by the astronomers in charge of its discovery and study, apparently we are talking about a size of 20 billion suns, size that increases no less than 1% per million years. With so much material absorbed, the object has been described as a quasar, one of the rarest and brightest celestial objects.
As a final detail, tell you that this black hole has been discovered thanks to the analysis of the data obtained by ESA's Gaia satellite, NASA's wide-field infrared reconnaissance Explorer and the ANU SkyMapper telescope, which means that, with the most powerful telescopes that are being manufactured today we could go much further and discover objects as incredible as this black hole.
To date, only a few supermassive quasars and black holes have been discovered. The real challenge that all astronomers now face is to know how these objects could grow so much in such a short time. According to the words of Christian Wolf:
We do not know how it could have grown into something so great in such a short time during the early days of the Universe. The search continues to find even faster black holes.