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posted by martyb on Thursday December 07 2017, @04:34PM   Printer-friendly
from the how'd-it-get-that-big? dept.

Farthest monster black hole found

Astronomers have discovered the most distant "supermassive" black hole known to science.

The matter-munching sinkhole is a whopping 13 billion light-years away, so far that we see it as it was a mere 690 million years after the Big Bang. But at about 800 million times the mass of our Sun, it managed to grow to a surprisingly large size such a short time after the origin of the Universe. The find is described in the journal Nature [DOI: 10.1038/nature25180] [DX].

This relic from the early Universe is busily devouring material at the centre of a galaxy - marking it out as a so-called quasar.

Also at Sky & Telescope.


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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Nerdfest on Thursday December 07 2017, @04:42PM

    by Nerdfest (80) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07 2017, @04:42PM (#606858)

    Sure, it's far away at the moment, but you know you're going to see your mom at Christmas. Sounds like she put on some weight since last year too.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @05:54PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @05:54PM (#606895)

    Where are you?!?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @06:02PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @06:02PM (#606900)

    13 billion light years away, we are seeing it at 690 million years after the big bang and it was 800 million times the mass of our sun at that time. How large is it now??

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday December 07 2017, @06:06PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07 2017, @06:06PM (#606902) Journal
      Why don't you go over there and weigh it? I dare you!
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @06:35PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @06:35PM (#606929)
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @09:08PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @09:08PM (#606990)

      you are asking about events outside of our lightcone.
      according to my understanding, that is a meaningless question, because the object you are interested in could have interacted with things that we cannot observe at any moment in their history.

      furthermore, if something is outside our lightcone, it does not exist (as far as physics is concerned).

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @08:50PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @08:50PM (#606984)

    "x million years after the Big Bang"

    They talk as if the "Big Bang" is accepted by all people everywhere and no one can contest it.

    Those who are fans of "big bang" _theory_ should try explaining the Moon. Earth's Moon.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @09:19PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @09:19PM (#606996)

      what, has it done something strange lately?

      -zug

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @11:57PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @11:57PM (#607049)

        It just sits there, in the night sky, mocking and mooning at me! It is quite enough to make one go mad! All those craters, you see, are not the result of impacts, but are the remnants of gigantic electrical discharges, which proves that the entire gravitational basis of Newtonian physics, not to mention Einstein, is completely wrong!! They laughed at me at the Royal Society when I proved to them that my theories are sound! Now I am going to fly a steam rocket, up to the mothership, where an obvious rebuttal probe awaits me. Told ya! Big Bang=no moon!!!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @09:17PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @09:17PM (#606995)

    Can we shoot all of our trash, hazardous waste, politicians, in the direction of this black hole and let it do it's worst to it all?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 08 2017, @10:18AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 08 2017, @10:18AM (#607144)

      Not all trash is created equal. Also, not all politicians are created equal. Instead of going through all that trouble to make a rocket travel that distance that it will probably never reach (being hit by space dust and rocks), try a piece of rope and a light pole. Also try stopping the next war. Ain't gonna happen.

  • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Friday December 08 2017, @03:58AM

    by captain normal (2205) on Friday December 08 2017, @03:58AM (#607087)

    "The newly discovered black hole is busily devouring material at the centre of a galaxy - marking it out as a so-called quasar."
    Don't they mean it WAS busily devouring matter? Do they realize how long ago and far away 13 Billion light-years is.
    Then there is the other thing about "the beginning of the Universe". What if it it never started nor has an end. And why do mathematicians treat infinity and zero the same?

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