Newly discovered mega black holes are ‘literally eating the universe’

The discovery by scientists could shed new light on the forming of the universe and why black holes emerged soon after the ‘Big Bang’.

Scientists using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory claim an unusually voracious group of supermassive black holes could be gorging on the outer limits of the cosmos, devouring matter much faster than they previously thought.

Bin Luo, of Pennsylvania State University, who led the study, said: “Even for famously prodigious consumers of material, these huge black holes appear to be dining at enormous rates, at least five to ten times faster than typical [black holes].”

Astronomers have known for some time that supermassive black holes, with masses ranging from millions to billions of times the mass of the Sun, can guzzle huge quantities of gas and dust captured by their gravitational pull, which glows so brightly as they enter the void the “quasars” can be seen billions of light years away.

Quazsars are a compacted area in the middle of a huge galaxy which surround a supermassive black hole.

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This is the furthest X-ray ever seen in a quasar and was produced by a mega black hole

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Four of the 51 quasars, between 5billion and 11.5billion light years away, examined during project

Even for famously prodigious consumers of material, these huge black holes appear to be dining at enormous rates, at least five to ten times faster than typical [black holes].

Bin Luo, of Pennsylvania State University

But Luo and colleagues noticed 51 quasars at a distance of between around five billion and 11.5 billion light years from Earth that had “unusually dull emissions.”

They speculated a thick, doughnut-shaped disc of gas and dust may shroud the quasars, stifling the X-rays that would otherwise be visible.

Luo thinks these quasars could hide mega-black holes growing at an alarmingly rapid rate.

As the BBC documentary below shows, scientists have long been baffled by the unpredictable behaviour of black holes and their seemingly boundless power to consume entire star systems.

 

Source: Express

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