Mass of three billion suns: Researchers discover huge black hole

It eats up the equivalent of an entire earth every second - and it's growing rapidly.

Mass of three billion suns: Researchers discover huge black hole

It eats up the equivalent of an entire earth every second - and it's growing rapidly. Australian researchers have discovered a black hole in space that, despite its size, has gone unnoticed for years. It is also easy to see from the ground. A telescope in the dark is enough.

An international team of astronomers says they have discovered an extremely fast-growing black hole. It has the mass of three billion suns, swallows the equivalent of an Earth every second, and shines 7,000 times brighter than all the light in our own galaxy, the group led by astronomers from the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, Australia, reported.

Other black holes of a comparable size would have stopped growing at this rate billions of years ago, the statement said. The research results have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal. According to the astronomers, the black hole can be easily seen by anyone who sets up a good telescope in a dark place. It is 500 times larger than the black hole in our galaxy.

Lead researcher Christopher Onken of the ANU called the discovery a "very large, unexpected needle in a haystack" that "slipped through" unnoticed years of space exploration. Possibly two large galaxies collided and threw a lot of material into the black hole to feed it, he surmised.

(This article was first published on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.)

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