Australian astronomers find black hole as big as 20 billion suns

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To put the mind-blowing scale of the black hole into further perspective, it's estimated to be the size of 20 billion suns and capable of sucking up mass equal to our sun every couple of days.

Christian Wolf, from the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Australian National University in Canberra.

The SkyMapper telescope at the ANU Siding Spring Observatory detected this light in the near-infrared, as the light waves had red-shifted over the billions of light years to Earth.

He said if the black hole were at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy it would appear 10 times brighter than a full moon. "Again, if this monster was at the center of the Milky Way, it would likely make life on Earth impossible with the huge amounts of X-rays emanating from it", Wolf said.

Wolf explained that fast-growing supermassive black holes can be used as beacons to study everything around them, because they're so bright that astronomers can spot the shadows of other objects passing in front of them.

The energy radiated from supermassive black holes ionizes the surrounding gas and contribute cosmic reionization, where neutral atoms break apart into their constituent parts: electrons, protons, and neutrons.

They looked at the quasar named SMSS~J215728.21-360215.1, and in its center, they saw a supermassive black hole that shines brightly.

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However, he did then add the caveat: "It's billions of light years away, so don't cancel your weekend plans". It's a plate of gas and dust swirling around the supermassive black hole that will eventually get devoured. Also, there's no reason to panic according to Dr. Wolf. This black hole in the latest discussion has been spotted by the Gaia satellite of the European Space Agency, which calculated the small motions of the celestial bodies.

The capsule, he said, helped to confirm that the far-away object was a candidate to be a very large quasar. Scientists believe that primordial black holes were formed right after the Big Bang while stellar black holes occur when a massive star collapses in itself.

"We don't know how this one grew so large, so quickly in the early days of the universe", Wolf admitted.

Hence, it is fortunate for the mankind that the black hole is located far beyond.

The findings have been accepted for publication in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia (PASA).

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

Astronomers discover fastest-growing black hole in space.