The world's hungriest black hole eats three suns per week

The world's hungriest black hole eats three suns per week

It also swallows mass in the equivalent of our entire sun every two Earth days, reports the team from the Australian National University, recently in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia.

The supermassive black hole - which is located billions of light-years away - is thought to be the mass of 20 billion suns and grows by about 1 percent every 1 million years, according to the new study detailing the discovery of the black hole.

Fortunately, Earth won't be consumed by the black hole, as it is way beyond of the Milky Way galaxy- although there is one supermassive black hole in our galaxy "that is 40,000 times less mass than the one that we have now found", Wolf said.

"It would appear 10 times brighter than a full moon and nearly wash out all of the stars in the sky". Therefore, it's easy to understand how researchers spotted it even if it's so far away.

Since it took this long for its light to reach us, spotting this supermassive black hole is like looking back through time, when the universe was just 1.4-billion-years-old.

"As the Universe expands, space expands and that stretches the light waves and changes their colour", Dr Wolf said.

There is a supermassive black hole at the centre of our own galaxy, but compared to this one, it's a lightweight.

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Even black holes get hungry.

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.

The ultra-violet light emitted from the quasar was detected by the SkyMapper telescope at the ANU Siding Spring Observatory.

Not that you'd know, because the x-rays emanating from it would make life on Earth impossible. 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.

The European Space Agency's Gaia satellite, which measures tiny motions of celestial objects, also helped out, confirming that ANU's discovery was sitting still and thus likely to be a quasar. Then, another ANU telescope measured the wavelengths released from the object to verify its composition. Wolf further added that the research is still going on to hunt for more faster-evolving black holes. It's interesting to see such formations came into being when the universe was so young, so they are now wondering if there are others that look the same.

Wolf explains how they found the bright black hole.

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