In a study led by Dr. Christian Wolf and reported in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, a black hole was just discovered that is consuming material at a record-breaking rate of one star every 2-3 days.
Dr. Wolf and his team found this black hole by searching for objects in the sky that do not move. Hyper-achieving black holes are very small and point-like, so can often be initially confused with stars. Side-by-side, the distinguishing feature is that only the stars are near to us. The implication is that over a period of years or decades only the stars will move across the sky.
But, once a distant object with an “active” black hole is found, what is going on there? Why is it shining so brightly?
One can imagine an assembly line that carries stars along it one-by-one. Each time a star drops off of the conveyer belt “at the end of the line,” the star collides with the hot and fast moving collection of gas surrounding the black hole. This “accretion disk” takes in the doomed star which by now is stretching like taffy and heating up to the point that it emits X-rays and gamma-rays. Some of this high energy radiation shoots out of the black hole.
As a result of emitting radiation, it gives us a chance to find and study these objects which otherwise would be utterly dark.
This black hole that was just found shines with a brightness that is equal to about 10,000 times that of all the stars in the Milky Way combined. If we could relocate this object to the center of the Milky Way, then this monstrous object would appear in our night sky with a brightness equal to ten full moons.
This would disrupt the lives of nocturnal creatures on our planet, but this problem would be minor. The incident X-ray emission would be sufficient to irradiate all life on Earth. Fortunately, the black hole resident in the center of our galaxy is relatively calm. Indeed gluttony is an attribute of supermassive black holes typically associated only with sources existing very far away and a long time ago.