With giant new ground-based telescopes now under construction, scientists will also be able to use bright, distant objects like this voracious black hole to measure the universe's expansion, the researchers said.
"So, either black holes can grow faster than the speed limit, but we don't know how that works, and we have not seen it yet in action, or there is an unknown way to make 5,000 solar mass black holes very close in time to the Big Bang", Wolf said.
The team estimate that this black hole has a mass of at least 20 billion times greater than the mass of the Sun.
We often think of a black hole as the darkest object in the universe, consuming even the light that comes near it. This black hole in the latest discussion has been spotted by the Gaia satellite of the European Space Agency, which calculated the small motions of the celestial bodies. Wolf said that the super-huge black holes could be used like beacons for seeing and studying the evolution of objects in the "early galaxies of the universe" due to their shine. Apart from all the eating and devouring, it spews an excessive amount of energy that is mostly in the form of ultraviolet radiation but also releases X-rays.
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'These large and rapidly-growing black holes are exceedingly rare, and we have been searching for them with SkyMapper for several months now. Wolf further added that it would have appeared as an unbelievably bright "pin-point star", which could wash out almost every star present in the celestial sphere.
While unnamed, Wolf refers to the black hole as a "monster".
'The hunt is on to find even faster-growing black holes'.
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A Hubble image of a supermassive black hole, or quasar.
It's shining 10 times more brightly than a full moon, and if the black hole was in our own Milky Way galaxy, it would have blasted all life off our planet with X-Rays, the scientists say.
We don't know how this one grew so large, so quickly in the early days of the universe.
"During the birth of the universe, some really massive seeds were created that these black holes then formed around". New land-based telescopes being built over the next decade might able to directly measure the expansion of the universe using these bright black holes.
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The results appear in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia (arXiv.org preprint).