Newly discovered mega black holes are ‘literally eating the universe’
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.
This is the furthest X-ray ever seen in a quasar and was produced by a mega black hole
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].
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.