A MONSTER black hole powering “the brightest lighthouse in the distant universe” has been discovered that is 12 billion times more massive than the sun, scientists have revealed.
The extraordinary object is at the centre of a quasar – an intensely powerful galactic radiation source – with a million billion times the sun’s energy output.
For years the nature of quasars, discovered in 1963, remained a mystery. Today scientists believe they are generated by matter heating up as it is dragged into super massive black holes at the centre of distant galaxies.
The new object, named SDSS J0100+2802, is 12.8 billion light years from Earth and was formed just 900 million years after the Big Bang that gave birth to the universe.
Astronomers cannot explain how such an enormous black hole could have formed so early in cosmic history, soon after the first stars and galaxies emerged.
Dr Fuyan Bian, from the Australian National University, a member of an international team, said: “Forming such a large black hole so quickly is hard to interpret with current theories.”
– The Telegraph