Hungry Black Hole Among the Most Massive in the Universe – 34 Billion Times the Mass of Our Sun

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Quasar Surrounded by Torus

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This illustration illustrates a quasar surrounded by a dirty donut shape (torus) and clumps called “clouds.” Credit: Illustration by Nima Abkenar

We now understand simply how enormous the fastest-growing great void in the Universe in fact is, in addition to just how much it consumes, thanks to brand-new research study led by The Australian National University (ANU).

It is 34 billion times the mass of our sun and canyons on almost the equivalent of one sun every day, according to Dr. Christopher Onken and his coworkers.

“The great void’s mass is likewise about 8,000 times larger than the great void in the center of the Milky Way,” Dr. Onken stated. “If the Milky Way’s black hole wanted to grow that fat, it would have to swallow two-thirds of all the stars in our Galaxy.”

This huge great void — referred to as J2157 — was found by the very same research study group in 2018.  

“We’re seeing it at a time when the universe was only 1.2 billion years old, less than 10 percent of its current age,” Dr. Onken stated.

“It’s the biggest black hole that’s been weighed in this early period of the Universe.”

“If the Milky Way’s black hole wanted to grow that fat, it would have to swallow two-thirds of all the stars in our Galaxy.” — Dr. Christopher Onken

Exactly how great voids grew so huge so early in the life-span of the Universe is still a secret, however the group is now looking for more great voids in the hope they may supply some ideas.

“We knew we were onto a very massive black hole when we realized its fast growth rate,” stated employee Dr. Fuyan Bian, a personnel astronomer at the European Southern Observatory (ESO). 

“How much great voids can swallow depends upon just how much mass they currently have.  

“So, for this one to be devouring matter at such a high rate, we thought it could become a new record holder. And now we know.”

The group, consisting of scientists from the University of Arizona, utilized ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile to properly determine the great void’s mass.

“With such an enormous black hole, we’re also excited to see what we can learn about the galaxy in which it’s growing,” Dr. Onken stated.

“Is this galaxy one of the behemoths of the early Universe, or did the black hole just swallow up an extraordinary amount of its surroundings? We’ll have to keep digging to figure that out.”

The research study has actually been released in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

References:

“A thirty-four billion solar mass black hole in SMSS J2157–3602, the most luminous known quasar” by Christopher A Onken, Fuyan Bian, Xiaohui Fan, Feige Wang, Christian Wolf and Jinyi Yang, 30 June 2020, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
DOI: 10.1093/mnras/staa1635

“Discovery of the Most Ultra-Luminous QSO Using GAIA, SkyMapper, and WISE” by Christian Wolf, Fuyan Bian, Christopher A. Onken, Brian P. Schmidt, Patrick Tisserand, Noura Alonzi, Wei Jeat Hon and John L. Tonry, 18 June 2018, Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia.
DOI: 10.1017/pasa.2018.22



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