techkenyot.com
techkenyot.com October 15, 2018


This Bright Supermassive Black Hole Eats a Sun Every Two Days

16 May 2018, 02:34 | Edward Lowe

The black hole is estimated to be the size of 20 billion suns. Source NASAMore

The black hole is estimated to be the size of 20 billion suns. Source NASAMore

In one of those discoveries that tests the limit of human perception from the tiny confines of a planet orbiting a small star, scientists in Australia say they have isolated a "monster" black hole- the largest yet seen out in space. If placed at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, it would not only "appear 10 times brighter than a full moon", Wolf said, but it would also make life on Earth impossible due to the x-rays the black hole releases. It would appear as an incredibly bright pin-point star that would nearly wash out all of the stars in the sky, "said Christian Wolf, lead author of the study and a researcher from the Australian National University".

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.

For those trying to unlock the secrets of the universe, the bigger a black hole is, the better.

In this case, it's mostly ultraviolet light and x-rays.

Keep in mind that the center of the Milky Way is about 26,000 light-years away from Earth.

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Black holes at the centre of galaxies, also known as quasars, often reach masses over ten billion times the mass of the Sun.

"Fast-growing supermassive black holes also help to clear the fog around them by ionising gases, which makes the Universe more transparent".

"In the past, people perhaps went for black holes that were easier to identify because they looked a bit different", Dr Wolf said.

Sounds like a worthwhile hunt, just as long as we don't get too close to the target.

The researchers followed up their detection with data from the Gaia satellite, and confirmed it as a supermassive black hole using the spectrograph on the ANU 2.3 meter telescope.

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"As the Universe expands, space expands and that stretches the light waves and changes their color", Wolf added.

The black hole was first detected as near-infrared light by Dr Wolf and his colleagues using the SkyMapper telescope at ANU's Siding Spring Observatory.

'Scientists can see the shadows of objects in front of the supermassive black hole, ' Wolf said.

Dubbed J215728.21-360215.1, the supermassive black hole was recently noticed by the before-mentioned Dr. Wolf and his colleagues.

The discovery was made by astronomers at the Australian National University (ANU), led by Dr Christian Wolf of the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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