ASTRONOMERS have identified the fastest-growing black hole ever seen in the known universe and they are calling it a “monster with an appetite” as its gravity can devour the mass equivalent of our sun every two days.
Dr Christian Wolf of the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics said: “This black hole is growing so rapidly that it’s shining thousands of times more brightly than an entire galaxy.
“The heat radiation from the matter falling into the black hole, which is the light we see, is a few thousand times brighter than our own Milky Way galaxy.”
Researchers at the Australian National University discovered the supermassive black hole, also known as a quasar, when a telescope called Skymapper indicated that the object could have been of potential interest.
They then used data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite to determine its distance from Earth.
They found that it took more than 12billion years for the light from this massive black hole to reach Earth.
It is the brightest quasar that can be seen in visual or ultraviolet light.
It is also thought the object is no less than the size of 20billion of our suns.
“These large and rapidly-growing black holes are exceedingly rare, and we have been searching for them with SkyMapper for several months now.