It is a truism of modern astronomy that every galaxy has a hungry heart and paraphrases Bruce Springsteen in the form of a huge black hole swallowing gas, dust and even stars.
Astronomers in Australia now say that they have found the hungrier heart of the entire cosmos. It’s a black hole, 20 billion times the mass of the sun, eating the equivalent of a star every other day.
The black hole is growing so fast, said Christian Wolf of the Australian National University, who led the team that found it in the depths of time, “which is probably 10,000 times brighter than the galaxy he lives in.” So bright it blinds our eyes and we can not see the galaxy. He and his colleagues announced the discovery in a document to be published in the Australian Astronomical Society’s publications.
According to Einstein’s general theory of relativity, black holes are a unique gateway to gravitational oblivion, but they can only swallow so much, depending on their size; The rest of matter and energy is poured into space, producing firecrackers called quasars.
The light of the material whirling around this recently observed drainage tube in eternity, officially known as SMSS J215728.21-360215.1, is, according to Dr. Wolf and his colleagues as bright as 700 billion suns. If it were at the center of our own galaxy, the Milky Way, it would be 10 times brighter than the Moon, bathing the Earth under so many X-rays that life would be impossible.
Luckily it is not nearby. In fact, it is 12 billion light-years away, which means it took so long for the light to come in, so we can take a look at that cataclysm, as it appeared at the beginning of time, just 2 billion years after that Big Bang as the stars and galaxies fiercely formed.
So big after the Big Bang, it adds mystery to the origin of supermassive black holes, which often weigh more than a billion suns occupying the centers of galaxies. What happened first? Black holes or galaxies?