Black holes are regions in space with a tremendously strong gravitational pull that not even light can escape from them. Now, astronomers have not only discovered the fastest-growing black hole in space but found it has quite an appetite too. What does it mean?
Astronomers from the Australian National University (ANU)
revealed that a black hole in the universe that is 34 billion times the mass of our sun can eat up the equivalent mass of one sun a day.
The black hole known as J2157 was discovered by the same research team back in 2018. What should we know?
According to Dr Christopher Onken, the black hole's mass is about 8,000 times bigger than the black hole in the centre of the Milky Way.
"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."
Black holes are formed from remnants of massive stars and are estimated to exist from ten million to a billion in the Milky Way alone.
J2157 was discovered at a time where the universe was only 1.2 billion years old, making it only less than 10 per cent of its current age.
"It's the biggest black hole that's been weighed in this early period of the Universe."
In a press release
, Dr Onken revealed that the team is still investigating how it can grow so big in the early stages if its life-span and are searching for more black holes that might provide clues for this mystery.
"How much black holes can swallow depends on how much mass they already have.” said team member Dr Fuyan Bian, a staff astronomer at the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
"So, for this one to be devouring matter at such a high rate, we thought it could become a new record holder.”
The research has been published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society