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They discover a supermassive black hole that shines 7,000 times more than the entire Milky Way


It is estimated that the celestial body, which went unnoticed during decades of research, has a mass equivalent to 3,000 million suns.

An international team of astronomers, led by researchers at the Australian National University, recently discovered a supermassive black hole that shines 7,000 times more than the Milky Way.

According to informed the university institution this Wednesday, the so-called J1144 is the black hole that has presented the fastest growth rate in recent times 9,000 million years, absorbing an amount of matter equivalent to the mass of the Earth every second.

The celestial body, with a mass three billion times greater than that of our Sun, sends light in multiple wavelengths through the Universe, which makes it what is known as a quasar, the scientists detail in the pre-published version of their research, and which has been released recently in arXiv.

How massive is the black hole?

J1144 is estimated to be about 500 times larger than the black hole in our own galaxy, being so massive that “the orbits of the planets in our Solar System would all fit within their event horizon, which is the limit of the black hole from which nothing can escape”, explained Samuel Lai, co-author of the publication.

Despite its massive size, the black hole went unnoticed for decades as it sits 18 degrees above the plane of our galaxy. “Searching for distant objects becomes very difficult when looking close to the disk of the Milky Way. There are so many stars in the foreground that it is very difficult to find the rare background sources,” he commented.

The object Astronomical, scientists point out, it has a visual magnitude – a measure of how bright an object appears to an observer from our planet – of 14.5, making it visible to amateur astronomers with the right equipment.

“Astronomers have been looking for similar objects for more than 50 years. They have found thousands of fainter objects, but this amazingly bright one had gone unnoticed. Now we want to know why it is so different: has something catastrophic happened? Perhaps two large galaxies collided with each other and funneled a lot of material into the black hole to a feed it,” said Christopher Onken, co-author of the research.

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