Now, a new discovery reports a monstrous black hole that has approximately 4,000 times the mass of Sagittarius A, the supermassive black hole in the center of Milky Way, and is expanding even faster than any other black hole astronomers have ever observed. When gas and dust enter the void, the matter is massively accelerated and heated at very high temperature - giving us the incredible burst of light we're seeing with the fastest growing black hole.
The astronomers from the Australian National University (ANU) described it as a monster that devours a mass equivalent to our sun every two days.
"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", Wolf said.
For those trying to unlock the secrets of the universe, the bigger a black hole is, the better.
Detecting the fastest growing black hole was a bit of an ordeal, and Wolf's team managed to discover it while they were searching using the SkyMapper telescope at the ANU Siding Spring Observatory in Coonabarabran, New South Wales. They used ANU's own Skymapper Southern Sky Survey and the European Space Agency's Gaia satellite data to home in on the beast.
However, he did then add the caveat: "It's billions of light years away, so don't cancel your weekend plans".
Given its distance from Earth, Dr Wolf said it would have formed when the universe, which was formed 13.8 billion years ago, was just 1.3 billion years old.
"As the Universe expands, space expands and that stretches the light waves and changes their colour", Wolf explained.
Dr Wolf said instruments on very large ground-based telescopes being built over the next decade would be able to directly measure the expansion of the Universe using these very bright black holes. Pictured, a bright supermassive black hole.
The study detailing the fastest growing black hole was published back on May 11 in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia.
"There's a big mystery about how these supermassive black holes form, because we don't understand how something could get that big that quickly; our normal theories don't work", she says. "It would appear as an incredibly bright pin-point star that would nearly wash out all of the stars in the sky".