An international team of astronomers says they have discovered an extremely fast-growing black hole.
It has the mass of three billion suns, swallows the equivalent of an Earth every second, and shines 7,000 times brighter than all the light in our own galaxy.
This was reported by the researchers led by astronomers from the Australian National University (ANU) today in the Australian capital Canberra. Other black holes of a comparable size would have stopped growing at this rate billions of years ago, the statement said.
The research results have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal. According to the astronomers, the black hole can be easily seen by anyone who sets up a good telescope in a dark place. It is 500 times larger than the black hole in our own galaxy.
Lead researcher Christopher Onken of the ANU called the discovery a “very large, unexpected needle in a haystack” that “slipped through” unnoticed years of space exploration. It is possible that two large galaxies collided and threw a lot of material into the black-hole to feed it.