This Black Hole is growing at UNPRECEDENTED levels! Can eat one Earth every second

Scientists have discovered a black hole which is the fastest growing they have ever encountered. It is devouring the mass equivalent of our Earth every second.

| Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 13:11 IST
Black hole
This black hole is consuming the mass worth an entire Earth every second and is the fastest growing black hole ever observed. (Photo courtesy: Nasa)
Black hole
This black hole is consuming the mass worth an entire Earth every second and is the fastest growing black hole ever observed. (Photo courtesy: Nasa)

The world of black holes is a strange one. Every time scientists make a new breakthrough, something even more perplexing comes up. Recently, NASA discovered Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole that was hiding in plain sight at the center of our galaxy, Milky Way. Now, scientists have discovered something stranger. A new black hole has been observed which is apparently the fastest growing black hole ever. Not only does it have a gigantic mass of about three billion times that of the sun, it is also consuming the equivalent mass of an entire Earth every second.

A research paper around this study has been submitted to the journal Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia. However, do note that it has not yet been peer reviewed. A preprint version of the study can be read at the arXiv database. According to the study, apart from its consumption rate, its size is also baffling. More than 500 times larger than the Sagittarius A*, this black hole can fit the entire solar system within its event horizon. The event horizon of a black hole is the inner shadow region of a black hole which is also its circumference.

Fastest growing black hole is eating an Earth every second

The study notes that the black hole is consuming matter at such a fast rate through a process called accretion. In this, the black hole pulls in a massive dust and gas layer near the surface which accumulates in the shape of a thin disk. Then, the black hole siphons the particles through that disk.

Based on its size and its rate of consumption, researchers have determined that this black hole is the fastest growing black hole to exist in the past 9 billion years.

“Now, we want to know why this one is different  —  did something catastrophic happen? Perhaps two big galaxies crashed into each other, funneling a whole lot of material onto the black hole to feed it,” Christopher Onken, lead researcher of the study said in a statement.

Co-author of the study Christian Wolf said, “This black hole is such an outlier that while you should never say never, I don't believe we will find another one like this. We are fairly confident this record will not be broken. We have essentially run out of sky where objects like this could be hiding”.

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First Published Date: 16 Jun, 16:32 IST