For the first time, the fastest-growing black hole in the universe has been measured and it is a big gun. The hole itself, called J2157, was discovered two years ago by astronomers from the Australian National University (ANU).
Now, astronomers have measured J2157 and discovered that its mass is 34 billion times greater than our sun, and devours the equivalent of our sun every day.
Their study was published Wednesday in the monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
That’s the biggest, ever-growing black hole in the universe.
By eating such masses every day, the J2157 is about 8,000 times larger than the black hole in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.
“If the Milky Way’s black hole wanted to develop so quickly,” said lead author Dr. Christopher Onken, in a press release, “it would have to swallow two-thirds of all the stars in our galaxy.”
Generally, the amount that a black hole consumes is due to its size. “We knew we were on a very massive black hole when we realized its rapid growth rate,” said co-researcher Dr. Fuyan Bian. To devour the material at such a high rate, it could become a new record holder.
It can be quite difficult to find a black hole because they are usually black. But this one, in particular, was relatively easy to identify because it sucks up so much mass and gas that it creates a significant amount of light around it.
Dr. Chris Wolf of ANU said: “If we had this monster sitting in the center of our Milky Way galaxy, it would appear 10 times brighter than a full moon. an incredibly bright landmark star that would erase almost any star in the sky. “
If this monster of a black hole lay in our galaxy, we would not be able to maintain life on Earth as it is. There would be far too much radiation for any chance of life to be wiped out.
Finding out how much and how fast J2157 is growing has raised many more questions for astronomers. Is this galaxy one of the mastodons of the First Universe, or has the black hole simply engulfed an extraordinary amount of its environment?”
Dr. Onken Questioned: “With a huge black hole, we are also excited to see what we can learn about the galaxy in which it is developing.”