Scientists Find One of the Most Massive Black Holes With 34 Billion Times The Mass of Our Sun
Scientists have just announced that they have found the biggest black hole ever seen in the early Universe. It is 34 billion times heavier than our Sun and eats one of them every day.
The research, which was led by the National University of Australia (ANU), showed how big the black hole that grows the fastest in the Universe is and how much matter it can hold. In 2018, the same group of researchers found the black hole called “J2157.”
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society published the report about the huge black hole’s shape and size.
Dr. Christopher Onken and his colleagues say that this object is 34 billion times heavier than the Sun and uses up as much energy as the Sun in a day. That number has a capital B. The huge black hole is about 8,000 times more massive than Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.
Onken says, “If the black hole in the Milky Way wanted to get fat, it would have to eat two-thirds of all the stars in our galaxy.”
Scientists looked at the object when the Universe was only 1.2 billion years old, which is less than 10% of its age now. This made it the largest known black hole in the early Universe in terms of mass.
Onken says, “It is the biggest black hole ever measured in the early universe.”
The team is now looking for more black holes in the hopes of finding out how black holes can get so big so quickly in the young Universe.
“When we saw how quickly it was growing, we knew it was a very big black hole,” says Dr. Fuyan Bian, an astronomer on the team from the European Southern Observatory (ESO). “The amount of matter a black hole can eat depends on how much mass it already has. We thought this object might set a new record for how fast it ate matter because it did it so quickly. He says, “And now we know.”
The team, which included researchers from the University of Arizona, utilized the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile to accurately determine the mass of the black hole.
“With such an enormous black hole, we’re also excited to see what we can learn about the galaxy in which it’s growing,” Onken said. “Is this galaxy one of the behemoths of the early Universe, or did the black hole swallow up an extraordinary amount of its surroundings? We’ll have to keep digging to figure that out.”
A huge black hole in the center of a quasar galaxy is called J2157. Astronomers were able to learn more about the monster with the help of the 10-meter Keck telescope in Hawaii and the 8-meter Very Large Telescope in Chile.
Astronomers were able to figure out how far away the quasar was and how bright it was overall. This helped them figure out how big the black hole was and how much of the disc it could eat.
The black hole is enormous, measuring nearly 200 billion kilometers in diameter. It is so big that if it were our Sun, it would swallow up everything in our solar system.