The most gluttonous black hole in the Universe is found

Australian astrophysicists have found in the constellation of South Pisces a gluttonous supermassive black hole J2157-3602, which will be able to eat our Sun in just two days. Her photographs were published in the journal Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia.

“This black hole grows so fast that it shines a thousand times brighter than the rest of the galaxy, and its glow is produced by a huge mass of gas that it constantly sucks in. If it were in the Milky Way, it would shine 10 times brighter than the Moon, and would eclipse all the stars with its light, “notes Christian Wolf from the National University of Australia in Canberra.

Supermassive black holes exist at the center of almost any galaxy. Unlike the black holes that arise when stars collapse, their mass is several million times greater than the solar one. They periodically absorb stars, other celestial bodies and gas, and throw out some of the captured matter in the form of jets – bundles of heated plasma moving with a near-light speed.

These emissions, as astronomers now believe, are the result of the fact that black holes can not absorb matter in unlimited quantities. There is a certain boundary, which astrophysicists call the Eddington limit, when it reaches the point of accumulation in the vicinity of a black hole in the form of a hot “bagel” of matter, an accretion disk where matter particles rub against each other, are heated to superhigh temperatures and ejected by a black hole into space .

According to Wolff, the discovery of the anomalously heavy black holes that emerged in the early days of the universe makes scientists look for objects that violate this limit and explain the existence of these mysterious giants. While astronomers managed to find only a few black holes, close to the Eddington limit, but not exceeding it.

Wolf and his colleagues opened the first candidate for this role, studying distant galaxies located in the constellation of South Pisces. During these observations, the attention of scientists, as the astrophysicist recalls, attracted an unusually bright solitary star, which was away from groups of galaxies and already known star clusters.

After analyzing its spectrum, Australian astronomers realized with astonishment that they are dealing not with a star, but with a galaxy remote from us at 12.2 billion light years. The main source of its glow was a gigantic black hole, whose mass was 20 billion times higher than that of the Sun, and brightness – 695 trillion times, which comes very close to the Eddington limit.

As Wolf notes, most of this light came about as a result of the “stretching” of the X-ray and ultraviolet glow J2157-3602 on the way to Earth. Accordingly, if this black hole were in the center of the Milky Way, then life on our planet would not exist, as it would be destroyed by the radiation of this object.

“We do not know how this object has emerged in such a short time, and we hope that we will be able to find even more voracious black holes that will help us reveal the secret of their birth and learn what role they played in the” enlightenment “of the Universe in the early eras of it life “, – the scientist concludes.