Scientists Discover Black Hole 12 Billion Times Larger Than the Sun

It remains a mystery how black holes could have grown so huge in such short time

Scientists Discover Black Hole 12 Billion Times Larger Than the Sun

Monster Black Hole Is the Largest and Brightest Ever Found

Astronomers have discovered the largest and most luminous black hole ever seen — an ancient monster with a mass about 12 billion times that of the sun — that dates back to when the universe was less than 1 billion years old.

It remains a mystery how black holes could have grown so huge in such a relatively brief time after the dawn of the universe, researchers say.

Supermassive black holes are thought to lurk in the hearts of most, if not all, large galaxies.

The largest black holes found so far in the nearby universe have masses more than 10 billion times that of the sun. In comparison, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way is thought to have a mass only 4 million to 5 million times that of the sun.

Although not even light can escape the powerful gravitational pulls of black holes — hence, their name — black holes are often bright.

That’s because they’re surrounded by features known as accretion disks, which are made up of gas and dust that heat up and give off light as it swirl into the black holes. Astronomers suspect that quasars, the brightest objects in the universe, contain supermassive black holes that release extraordinarily large amounts of light as they rip apart stars.

So far, astronomers have discovered 40 quasars — each with a black hole about 1 billion times the mass of the sun — dating back to when the universe was less than 1 billion years old. Now, scientists report the discovery of a supermassive black hole 12 billion times the mass of the sun about 12.8 billion light-years from Earth that dates back to when the universe was only about 875 million years old.

This black hole — technically known as SDSS J010013.02+280225.8, or J0100+2802 for short — is not only the most massive quasar ever seen in the early universe but also the most luminous. It is about 429 trillion times brighter than the sun and seven times brighter than the most distant quasar known.

The light from very distant quasars can take billions of years to reach Earth. As such, astronomers can see quasars as they were when the universe was young.

See also: Say cheese! Hubble telescope captures extraterrestrial smiley face

This black hole dates back to a little more than 6 percent of the universe’s current age of 13.8 billion years.

“This is quite surprising because it presents serious challenges to theories of black hole growth in the early universe,” said lead study author Xue-Bing Wu, an astrophysicist at Peking University in Beijing.

Accretion discs limit the speed of modern black holes’ growth. First, as gas and dust in the disks get close to black holes, traffic jams slow down any other material that’s falling into them. Second, as matter collides in these traffic jams, it heats up, emitting radiation that drives gas and dust away from the black holes.

Black-Hole-12-Billion-Times-Larger-Than-the-Sun
The newfound quasar SDSS J0100+2802 has the most massive black hole and the highest luminosity among all known distant quasars, as shown in this comparison chart of the black hole’s mass and brightness. Credit: Zhaoyu Li (Shanghai Astronomical Observatory)/Background image: Yunnan Observatories

Scientists still do not have a satisfactory theory to explain how these super-massive objects formed in the early universe, Wu said.

“It requires either very special ways to quickly grow the black hole or a huge seed black hole.” For instance, a recent study suggested that because the early universe was much smaller than it is today, gas was often denser, obscuring a substantial amount of the radiation given off by accretion disks and thus helping matter fall into black holes.

The researchers noted that the light from this black hole could help provide clues about the dark corners of the distant cosmos. As the quasar’s light shines toward Earth, it passes through intergalactic gas that colors the light.

See also: Every Black Hole Contains Another Universe, Claims New Study

By deducing how this intergalactic gas influenced the spectrum of light from the quasar, scientists can deduce which elements make up this gas. This knowledge, in turn, can provide insight into the star-formation processes that were at work shortly after the Big Bang that produced these elements.

“This quasar is the most luminous one in the early universe, which, like a lighthouse, will provide us chances to use it as a unique tool to study the cosmic structure of the dark, distant universe,” Wu said.

The scientists detailed their findings in the Feb. 26 issue of the journal Nature.

Sourcespace

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

Harvard Study Proves Why The Bees Are All Disappearing

The human race is really starting to feel the consequences of their actions. One area we are waking up to is the massive amount...

The 10 Biggest Dangers Posed By Future Technology

It’s not easy predicting the future of technology. In the fifties it seemed a pretty much foregone conclusion that by 2015 we would all...

Did we discover “Alien technology” and reverse-engineer it?

A lot of people have wondered ever since the first reported UFO crash, if we had come into contact with Alien technology. Highly advanced technology...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

Complete List of BANKS Owned/Controlled by the Rothschild Family

What’s the significance of having a central bank within a country and why should you concern yourself, your family and colleagues? Central banks are illegally...

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

China Is Turning The Rainforest Into Cheap Furniture For The U.S.

Driven by American demand for cheap furniture, China has become the greatest importer of illegal timber. The...

Harvard Study Proves Why The Bees Are All Disappearing

The human race is really starting to feel the consequences of their actions. One area we are waking up to is the massive amount...

Tesla self-driving car to hit the road next year

Elon Musk says next year's Tesla cars will be able to self-drive 90 percent of the time In an excerpt from a CNNMoney interview, Tesla...

7 new Earth-sized planets discovered, 3 found ‘in star’s habitable zone’ – NASA

The newly-discovered ‘exoplanets’ could have life-supporting liquid water under the right atmospheric conditions, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, but...

30,000-Year-Old Virus from Siberia About to be ‘Awakened’

After unearthing a 30,000-year-old virus from the icy wasteland of Siberia, scientists plan to awaken it under the premise of ‘fear that a warming...

62 People Have More Wealth than Half the World, Top 1% Have More than All of Us

Just 62 individuals now hold the same amount of wealth as 3.6 billion people, the bottom half of the entire planet — a shocking...

LeBron James Donates $41 Million To Send 1,100 Kids To College, Becomes 6th Most Charitable Athlete In World

Basketball star Lebron James didn’t have the easiest childhood. Born in Akron, Ohio, his parents often struggled to make ends meet, which is why...

‘The Ocean Is Missing!’: Irma Literally Sucked All the Water Away From Coastline

The energy behind powerful Hurricane Irma is so massive that it sucked water into itself and away from shorelines in the Bahamas on Friday. Video...

10 Signs The Global Elite Are Losing Control

Karma is coming for the elite in a big way. As the Powers That Be head toward a devastating defeat in their war plans...