M87

“The supermassive black hole in the center of the quasar gobbles up an enormous amount of nearby materials, which glare and shine when they constitute an accretion disk before finally sliding down in the black hole,” said Hongyan Zhou, faculty member at the University of Science and Technology of China about the universe’s brightest beacons; shining with magnitudes more luminosity than entire galaxies and the stars they contain. In the center of this light, at the heart of a quasar, researchers think, is an all-consuming black hole.

“Outside the accretion disk, materials are continuously pumped from all directions to the center by gravity to feed the black hole with an endless appetite,” Zhou added.

Researchers, for the first time, have observed the accelerated rate at which eight quasars consume interstellar fuel to feed their black holes.

“As the most luminous steady beacons in the Universe, quasars are believed to be powered by an accretion disk around the central black hole,” said Zhou, paper author, affiliated with the SOA Key Laboratory for Polar Science in the Polar Research Institute of China.

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