Black holes can be in one of two states. Dormant black holes are sleeping, as the state suggests, but active black holes can’t stop swallowing nearby stars and smaller galaxies. Scientists have now detected a supermassive black hole which spins incredibly fast since it devoured a nearby star. In fact, the huge black hole is spinning at 50% the speed of light, according to the researchers who recorded the observations.
The supermassive black hole known as ASASSN-14li left bits of the devoured star behind, which allowed scientists to measure and calculate its rotation rate.
“This black hole’s event horizon is about 300 times bigger than the Earth,” study co-author Ron Remillard of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) said in a statement. “Yet the black hole is spinning so fast it completes one rotation in about two minutes, compa