On May 21, NASA disclosed the discovery of a hidden galaxy that shone with the light of more than 300 trillion suns. The suns found in this massive galaxy are believed to be the result of a supermassive black hole. The new galaxy has been named an unromantic WISE (for Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) J224607.57-052635.0.
Study Lead by Jet Propulsion Laboratory
The lead author of the study of the new galaxy, Chao-Wei Tsai is a part of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab located in Pasadena, California. Tsai believes a black hole is the central source behind these suns. The galaxy evolution can be very intense and the black hole is a part of the process. The light can be formed within the growth of the galaxy’s super massive black hole.
The new galaxy is 12.5 billion years away and was already in existence when the universe was one-tenth of its age now. Most galaxies, if not all of them, are believed to have black holes within the center of their cores. The galaxies we see now may be in the process of actually gorging on the galaxy’s gas.
The WISE Telescope Shows Us the New Galaxy
The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) was developed to travel in orbit and scan the entire sky using infrared light. When the new galaxy was seen, it was seen in infrared light and not visible light. Astronomers for WISE have been recently discovering a completely new class of objects such as this one, within the galaxy. These galaxies are being referred to as extremely luminous infrared galaxies or ELIRGs. So far, there have been twenty new ELIRGs, including this most luminous one found to date.
Effects of Supermassive Black Hole
While material is spiraling down into a black hole, it heats up tremendously and emits huge amounts of light that take millions of years to travel here. People are wondering how the supermassive black hole within WISE became so huge. Because it is 12.5-billion years old, this is how astronomers are seeing it even though the universe itself is only 1.3 billion years old. Researchers believe that the new galaxy was born big, much as a baby elephant is born big. Tsai believes this black hole got bigger due to its sustainable binge, consuming faster than we thought. The slower a black hole is spinning, the more it consumes.