Astrophysicists would surely study a lot more about black holes if they find a way to directly see them. That’s impossible since these rebellious cosmic monsters don’t emit any light – instead, they won’t hesitate to absorb it as soon as it gets too close.
But even under such conditions, astronomers keep searching for answers when it comes to the numerous mysteries regarding black holes. Stephen Hawking was one of those astrophysicists who studied black holes for donkey’s years, as he started in 1971.
Eyes set on J114447.77-430859.3 (aka J1144)
J114447.77-430859.3 is the name of a very bright quasar that astronomers found using the Coonabarabran telescope. They believe that what’s powering the quasar is a supermassive black hole.
Dr. Christopher Onken, the lead researcher from the Australian National University, said about the newfound black hole as The Guardian quotes:
The light that we’re seeing from this growing black hole has been travelling to us for about 7bn years.
The quasar shines with such power that it is about 7,000 times brighter than all of the light coming from our Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers can’t find a precise explanation for why this happens.
Onken also explained, as the same source mentioned above quotes:
People have been looking for these growing black holes since the early 1960s,
The fact that something so bright has escaped the many, many searches that have been conducted over the years is quite remarkable.
If you think that black holes are scary enough, you just have to check out a new “falling into a black hole” illusion that came out a few weeks ago. By staring at a static picture, you’ll have the illusion that it’s dragging you into the abyss.
Nobody knows the exact number of black holes that exist in the Universe, but scientists estimate a number of 40,000,000,000,000,000,000 (40 quintillion) stellar-mass black holes that populate the observable part of the Universe.