Found: A Rapidly Expanding Supermassive Black Hole

By | Posted:
article-image

You can’t see it, but 12 billion light years away up among the billions of stars deep in the mysterious universe is a black hole that’s growing alarmingly quickly. Every two days or so, it devours matter the size of the Sun, with no signs of stopping.

A team of researchers recently discovered this supermassive black hole with the SkyMapper telescope at the Australian National University's Siding Spring Observatory, and in a new study, unveiled clues about its nature.

“We estimate that this black hole has a mass of at least 20 billion times the mass of the Sun,” Dr Christian Wolf of the ANU's Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Every million years, it grows 1 percent in size. That may seem an extraordinarily long time to humans, but is minuscule in the time span of the universe. Fortunately, Earth won’t be consumed by the black hole, as it is way beyond 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 co-exists in the Milky Way with between 10 million and a billion standard black holes, according to NASA. (But you don't need to worry about getting sucked into those, either.)