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Updated February 20th, 2024 at 14:53 IST

Scientists Discover 'Fastest and Brightest' Black Hole in Universe That Eats 370 Suns a Year

Experts are predicting that the hungry massive black hole is consuming the equivalent of 370 Suns a year which comes down to about one a day.

Reported by: Digital Desk
NASA
Illustration of a black hole. | Image:NASA
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Scientists have made a groundbreaking discovery of the fastest-growing black hole ever observed that devours the gas equivalent of the Sun every day. The study was published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

Researchers from The Australian National University (ANU) discovered this cosmic behemoth, boasting a mass approximately 17 billion times that of the Sun, is now recognised as the "most luminous" entity known to exist, consuming the equivalent of one Sun every 24 hours.

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Experts are predicting that the hungry massive black hole is consuming the equivalent of 370 Suns a year which comes down to about one a day. 

Christian Wolf, the lead author of the study and associate professor at ANU, in a statement, said, “The incredible rate of growth also means a huge release of light and heat. So, this is also the most luminous known object in the universe. It is 500 trillion times brighter than our sun.”

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What are Black Holes?

Black holes are regions of spacetime where gravity's pull is so intense that even light cannot escape, have long fascinated scientists.

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A black hole is formed by the death of a massive star. When a star has exhausted the internal thermonuclear fuels in its core at the end of its life, the core becomes unstable and gravitationally collapses inward upon itself, and the star’s outer layers are blown away, leading to the formation of a black hole.

Meanwhile, co-author Christopher Onken expressed surprise at the black holebeing undetected until now, given that many others have been discovered.

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The initial detection of this black hole was made possible using a 2.3-meter telescope at the ANU Siding Spring Observatory in New South Wales. Subsequent confirmation and mass measurement was conducted utilising the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile.

According to scientists, this monumental discovery sheds new light on the dynamic and captivating phenomena existing within the cosmos in space. 

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Published February 20th, 2024 at 14:53 IST

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