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Devouring one sun every day: Fastest-growing black hole ever recorded found by Australian researchers

The fastest-growing black hole ever recorded, an enormous storm that's devouring the equivalent of one sun every day, has been discovered by Australian researchers.
The black hole, found by researchers from the Australian National University (ANU), is 17 billion times the size of our own sun and also the brightest object in the universe.
"The incredible rate of growth also means a huge release of light and heat," lead author associate professor Christian Wolf said.
The fastest-growing black hole ever recorded.
The fastest-growing black hole ever recorded has been discovered by Australian researchers. (Cristy Roberts/ANU)
"So, this is also the most luminous known object in the universe. It's 200 trillion times brighter than our sun."
The black hole was first discovered using a telescope near Coonabarabran in outback NSW.
"It's a surprise it remained undetected until now, given what we know about many other, less impressive black holes," study co-author Dr Christopher Onken said.
"It was hiding in plain sight."
Researchers then turned to the Very Large Telescope at the European Southern Observatory to get a better look at it and properly measure it, before the findings were published today in the Nature Astronomy journal.
"It looks like a gigantic and magnetic storm cell with temperatures of 10,000 degrees Celsius, lightning everywhere and winds blowing so fast they would go around Earth in a second," Wolf said.
"This storm cell is seven light years across, which is 50 per cent more than the distance from our solar system to the next star in the galaxy, Alpha Centauri."
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Thankfully there's no chance of our own sun joining the many other stars that have been consumed by the black hole.
"The light from this black hole has travelled over 12 billion years to reach us," Professor Rachel Webster from the University of Melbourne, which collaborated on the study, said.
"In the adolescent universe, matter was moving chaotically and feeding hungry black holes.
"Today, stars are moving orderly at safe distances and only rarely plunge into black holes."

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