Saturday, 26 May, 2018

Fastest-growing supermassive black hole eats a sun every two days

NASA  JPL-CaltechAn artist’s impression supermassive black hole NASA JPL-CaltechAn artist’s impression supermassive black hole
Frank Williams | 15 May, 2018, 20:22

However, the researcher also noted that humans would not have been around to see that pin-point in that case, because the X-rays emanating out from the monster would have meant the end of all life on Earth.

As Dr. Christian Wolf of the Australian National University explained, this finding represents a big problem for astrophysics which, until now, was pretty much sure that supernovae turn into black holes which are up to 50 solar masses and can not exceed this limitation. "The hunt is on to find even faster-growing black holes". Its glow is produced by a huge mass of gas which it constantly draws to itself.

As supermassive black holes shine, they can be used as beacons to see and study the formation of elements in the early galaxies of the universe, Dr Wolf said.

The supermassive black hole, or quasar, is thought to have been present in the early universe - when our now 13.8-billion-year-old universe was around 1.2 billion years old - and is such a monster, it swallows the mass of our own sun every two days.

"Fast-growing supermassive black holes also help to clear the fog around them by ionising gases, which makes the universe more transparent". There is a limit that astrophysics is called the Eddington limit, at which the matter starts to accumulate in the vicinity of the black hole in the form of a hot "doughnut" made of matter, accretion disk, where matter particles RUB against each other, are heated to ultrahigh temperatures and emitted a black hole in space.

"If we had this monster sitting at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, it would appear 10 times brighter than a full moon".

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This makes the newfound giant black hole the fastest-growing quasar in the known universe. 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 team found this supermassive black hole by combining data from the ESA's Gaia satellite, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and ANU's SkyMapper telescope.

If this bright black hole would have been in our galaxy, astronomers say that it would outshine all the stars in the sky.

Wolf explains how they found the bright black hole. "It is very far away", he said.

Dr Wolf said instruments on very large ground-based telescopes being built over the next decade would be able to directly measure the expansion of the Universe using these very bright black holes.

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