A team of researchers who have observed the fastest-growing black hole to date has estimated the weight of the impressive object. According to the researchers, the black hole has a mass of 34 billion Suns, and it continues to grow at a fast pace.
The black hole is quite hungry as it consumes the equivalent of one Sun in matter per day. Besides the impressive traits, the black hole could provide fascinating information about the phenomena that could have been encountered in the early days of the universe.
Ultramassive black hole
Classified under the name of J2157-3602, the ultramassive black hole was identified in 2018. At that time researcher estimated that the black hole had a mass of 20 billion solar masses, with one solar mass being equivalent to the mass of the Sun. New research work performed with the Very Large Telescope array found in Chile has revealed new information.
J2157-3602 is up to 8,000 times bigger than Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole which is found in the center of the Milky Way. For comparison, Sagittarius A* would need to consume more than 60% of all of the stars in our galaxy to reach the same size.
It is worth noting that the researchers who analyzed J2157-3602 mention that the ultramassive black hole is also the most luminous quasar that has been identified in the known universe.A quasar is a black hole that attracts gas and matter from a surrounding accretion disk.
Despite its impressive size, J2157-3602 is not the biggest black hole that has been found by researchers. Situated at more than 10.4 billion light-years away from Earth, TON 618 has an estimated mass of 66 billion solar masses.
Scientists now aim to learn if J2157-3602 formed during the days of the early universe or evolved in time by consuming anything that could be found around it. A study was published in a scientific journal.