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The amazing discovery of a black hole that “swallows” one sun every day

The amazing discovery of a black hole that “swallows” one sun every day

According to a study published in the scientific journal natureAstronomers have identified a supermassive black hole that absorbs the equivalent of a sun every day, at the heart of the “quasar” – the nucleus of the galaxy that houses it – and is the brightest ever recorded.

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Amazing discovery. ” We've found out The fastest growing black hole known so far. It has a mass of 17 billion suns and “eats” just over one sun per day Christian Wolff, an astronomer at the Australian National University (ANU) and lead author of This study was published in the journal nature.

Concretely, there is a supermassive black hole, invisible by definition, lighting up the core of the galaxy that houses it. This nucleus is called a “quasar”, and the one observed by the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (VLT), located in Chile, is “ The brightest object in the known universe », according to Christian Wolff.

The light from this quasar took 12 billion years to reach the VLT instruments, making it possible to date its existence to the primordial era of the universe – 13.8 billion years. The “J0529-4351” light, as scientists called it, was discovered in the 1980s, says the study published on Monday, February 19. But the automatic analysis of the data is carried out by the satellite Galaxy map He likened it to a very bright star. Last year, researchers in Australia were able to identify it as a quasar.

The light is equivalent to the light of more than 500 billion suns

Scientists say everything about this black hole is surprising. ” What is unusual is the speed with which it digests other substances and swallows the mass. That's about one sun per day, which is huge. This makes it very bright Scientist Rachel Webster from the University of Melbourne added: At the BBC.

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In fact, the supermassive black hole protected by this quasar emits light equivalent to that of more than 500 billion suns, according to the ESO press release. But the presence of such a massive, luminous object in the early universe still exists. It's hard to explain », Study Notes.

As the researchers point out, all galaxies seem to have it A tremendous being in their heartsWhich likely means that these objects are inherent in the evolution of galaxies. ” In simpler terms, this means that without these black holes, our galaxy as we know it would not be what it is today. In fact, all galaxies could form around these supermassive black holes “, explained to the BBC Samuel Lai, a doctoral student at the Australian National University and co-author of the study.

Read alsoIllustrated evidence of the existence of a black hole in the heart of our galaxy: a “technological achievement”

(And with France Press agency)