This Bright Supermassive Black Hole Eats a Sun Every Two Days

A monster black hole has been discovered, and it's growing very fast (but it's far, far away)

The giant object is known to be devouring a mass similar to that of the sun in every 2 days.

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

We know that black holes get their extra mass because of the gravitational pull, through which they literally absorb materials around them, even light.

"Scientists can see the shadows of objects in front of the supermassive black hole", he said.

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It sounds odd to describe a black hole as "bright", but astronomers at Australian National University have spotted one so bright that were it in our home galaxy, it would outshine all the stars in the sky and even give the full moon a run for its money.

The SkyMapper telescope, which Australian National University astronomers used to find the fastest-growing black hole known in the universe.

"This black hole is growing so fast that it is shining thousands of times brighter than an entire galaxy".

"If we had this monster sitting at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, it would appear ten times brighter than a full moon. Its growth rate, half a solar mass per day, is nearly double the previous record", explained the scientists.

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READ NEXT: What are black holes? This also helped with its detection as light waves from the black hole red-shifted during their long journey to Earth, allowing the astronomers to use ANU's SkyMapper telescope to detect them in near-infrared. Light can take millions to billions of years to travel depending on the distance between Earth and a distant point in space, which means objects seen at present would appear as they were several eons ago.

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. "It would appear as an incredibly bright pin-point star that would nearly wash out all of the stars in the sky".

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

Dr Wolf said it's "actually remarkably hard to find these very fast-growing and very massive black holes because they are rare and (it's) not easy to tell them apart from other stars in our Milky Way".

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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.

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