Universe’s Largest Black Hole May Have An Explanation At Last
“The brightest, most luminous objects in the entire Universe are neither stars nor galaxies, but quasars, like S5 0014+81. The sixth brightest quasar known so far, its mass was determined in a 2009 study: 40 billion Suns. Its physical size would have a radius that’s 800 times the Earth-Sun distance, or over 100 billion kilometers. This makes it the most massive black hole known in the entire Universe, as massive as the Triangulum galaxy, our local group’s third largest member.”
The largest black hole in the Universe was a shocker when it was first discovered. At 40 billion solar masses, it certainly is impressively large. Like other quasars and active galaxies, it has a luminous accretion disk that can be seen from a great distance. Like only a few, one of its two incredibly energetic, polar jets is pointed directly at Earth, creating a blazar, the brightest of all active galaxies. But what makes this object, known as S5 0014+81, so special is that it got so big and massive so quickly. Its light comes to us from a time when the Universe was only 1.6 billion years old: just 12% of its current age. If this brilliant, massive object were located a mere 280 light years away, or ‘only’ 18 million times the Earth-Sun distance, it would shine as brightly as our life-giving star.