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科学家发现巨无霸黑洞,每两天吞掉一个太阳

Sarah Gray 2018年05月24日

科学家称,这个黑洞每天吸收气体会引起剧烈摩擦并释放热量,所以亮度比整个银河系还要高出数千倍。

澳大利亚研究者称,发现宇宙中一个迄今为止增长速度最快的黑洞。

澳大利亚国立大学研究团队成员克里斯蒂安·沃尔夫博士在声明中表示:“这个黑洞每天吸收气体会引起剧烈摩擦并释放热量,所以亮度比整个银河系还要高出数千倍。”

研究者认为,巨无霸黑洞相当于每两天吞噬一个与太阳质量相当的天体。沃尔夫说,如果处于银河系的正中央,不仅“看起来比满月还要亮十倍”,也会导致地球上生命灭绝,因为黑洞释放大量X射线。

据太空探索资讯网站Space.com报道,该黑洞离我们很远,其释放的光可能要经过约120亿年才能到达地球。澳大利亚国立大学的研究者估算,这个黑洞大小相当于200亿个太阳,每100万年体积增长1%。

(既然距离有几十亿光年,就不要取消你的周末活动计划了。)

——《纽约时报》专栏作家卡尔·齐默点评这条黑洞的新闻

最初,澳大利亚国立大学天文台Siding Spring Observatory的巡天望远镜SkyMapper发现了该黑洞发出的“近红外光”。在欧洲航天局通讯卫星Gaia的数据帮助下,研究者发现黑洞存在,又由大学里2.3米口径的望远镜通过光谱观测确认。

接下来,研究学者将分析宇宙诞生初期为何该黑洞可以扩张得如此巨大,并寻找其他类似迅速增长的黑洞。

“通过让气体发生电离,迅速扩大的超级黑洞会清除周围的雾气,宇宙会透明度会增加。”沃尔夫在声明中说。

澳大利亚国立大学研究者的发现将在澳大利亚天文学期刊《Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia》上发表。(龙8国际|官网)

译者:Pessy

审校:夏林

 

Australian researchers have discovered what they’ve described as the fastest-growing black hole in the universe.

“This black hole is growing so rapidly that it’s shining thousands of times more brightly than an entire galaxy, due to all of the gases it sucks in daily that cause lots of friction and heat,” Dr. Christian Wolf, a researcher from the Australian National University who was on the team that made the discovery, said according to a statement.

Researchers believe that this “monster” of black hole consumes the mass equivalent to our sun every two days. If placed at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, it would not only “appear 10 times brighter than a full moon,” Wolf said, but it would also make life on Earth impossible due to the x-rays the black hole releases.

And according to Space.com, this black hole is distant enough that it likely released its light around 12 billion years ago, when the ANU researchers estimate that this black hole was as large as 20 billion suns, and grew 1% every million years.

(It’s billions of light years away, so don’t cancel your weekend plans.)

— Carl Zimmer

Initially the SkyMapper telescope at the ANU Siding Spring Observatory discovered light from the black hole in the “near-infrared.” Data from European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite helped discover the black hole, and the spectrograph on the ANU 2.3 meter telescope confirmed the discovery.

The next step for researchers is to learn how it grew so large during the beginnings of our universe, and to find other fast-growing black holes like it.

“Fast-growing supermassive black holes also help to clear the fog around them by ionising gases,” Wolf said in a statement, “which makes the Universe more transparent.”

The researchers’ findings will be published in Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia.

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