Scientists working on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey with the mission to provide imagery data of 35 % of the northern hemisphere sky have discovered that a new black hole in outer space named SDSS J0100+2802 is 12 billion times larger than our sun. This would make of it one of the greatest deep-space black holes to have ever been spotted by scientists.
Black hole SDSS J0100+2802, discovered by a group of global scientists led by Xue-Bing Wu at Peking University, China, is 12.8 billion light years away from our planet. It is said that it was formed around 900 million years after the Big Bang. Measuring this black hole has generated results that challenge the existing theory as to how black holes grow. Black holes are measured by analysing the luminosity surrounding them; they are thought to constantly sucking in materials in their vicinity, thereby releasing great energy and thermal radiation that make them shine brightly.
The new black hole is alleged to be 12 million times larger than the sun. This makes the common hypothesis of growth rates problematic to explain.
In a statement to Reuters, Dr Fuyan Bian, of the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University (ANU), said:
“Based on previous research, this is the largest black hole found for that period of time. Current theory is for a limit to how fast a black hole can grow, but this black hole is too large for that theory.”
Scientists had initially stated that black holes’ growth rates are limited: they grow as the take in mass, but as the latter is absorbed, radiation pressure is built up because of the heat produced which would in turn repel the mass from the black holes.
“Basically, you have two forces balanced together which sets up a limit for growth, which is much smaller than what we found,” explained Bian.
The ANU is working on a similar project as the team of scientists having discovered the new black hole. They are carrying out observations relating to the Southern Hemisphere sky.