We should consider ourselves so lucky to be living in a relatively peaceful cosmic neighborhood. In our Universe, there are far more destructive phenomenons than space rocks wandering randomly through space. Of course, an asteroid could be enough to terminate all life forms on Earth as it happened 60 million years ago. But an even more frightening event could obliterate Earth and the Sun for good, leaving no chance for life ever to emerge again.
One such event could be a black hole. Considered to defy all expectations since its theoretical discovery by the German physicist and astronomer Karl Schwarzschild, a black hole has a huge gravity that doesn’t spare anything and anyone.
J2157 enters the scene
J2157 is its name, and engulfing stars like a vacuum cleaner captures lints is its game. A new research made by an international team of astronomers is bringing new insight for the fastest-growing black hole that humanity knows about: J2157. The scientists used the ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile to determine the mass of the imposing object.
Christopher Onken from the Australian National University declared:
The black hole’s mass is also about 8,000 times bigger than the black hole in the center of the Milky Way,
He adds further info for just how insanely big the black hole is:
If the Milky Way’s black hole wanted to grow that fat, it would have to swallow two-thirds of all the stars in our galaxy,
Luckily enough for us, the J2157 black hole is billions of light-years away from Earth, so we can stay calm and not worry about it. It’s a lot more likely that Chicxulub impactor 2.0 will visit us tomorrow, although no asteroid detector on Earth said anything about a ‘global killer’ visiting us soon.
The findings were published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.