If black holes were already a total mystery to scientists, they now face a much greater mystery. Previously, astronomers had already found black holes much heavier than they should be because of their age. Now, a new discovery reports a monstrous black hole that has approximately 4,000 times the mass of Sagittarius A, the supermassive black hole in the center of Milky Way, and is expanding even faster than any other black hole astronomers have ever observed.
We know that black holes get their extra mass because of the gravitational pull, through which they literally absorb materials around them, even light. However, until now, scientists thought that black holes had a limit to their growth rate and, in theory, a black hole could not grow above that limitation.
However, the recently discovered monstrous black hole is so huge that, even if it had formed right after the Big Bang and expanded at the highest possible rate, it would have absorbed stars with masses higher than our Sun’s mass by several thousands times to be as big as the astronomers observed it recently.
The newly found monstrous black hole has 20 billion solar masses
As Dr. Christian Wolf of the Australian National University explained, this finding represents a big problem for astrophysics which, until now, was pretty much sure that supernovae turn into black holes which are up to 50 solar masses and cannot exceed this limitation.
Dubbed J215728.21-360215.1, the supermassive black hole was recently noticed by the before-mentioned Dr. Wolf and his colleagues. Apparently, what baffled the scientists was that this black hole expands at such an accelerated pace that, in accordance to the current theories, it must have about 20 billion times the mass of our Sun.
“This black hole is growing so fast that it is shining thousands of times brighter than an entire galaxy. If we had this monster sitting in the center of our Milky Way, it would look 10 times brighter than a full moon. Its growth rate, half a solar mass per day, is almost double the previous record,” explained the scientists.
Next, the astronomers plan on using a telescope which is capable to calculate the velocity at which gasses orbit the monstrous black hole, in order to measure its exact mass. Now, researchers hope that a more in-depth examination of the Universe will reveal the frequency of any supermassive black hole, so they can solve one more mystery regarding black holes.