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Record-breaking quasar 500 trillion times brighter than the sun discovered


By Aabusad PathanPublished 2 months ago 3 min read

A quasar 500 trillion times brighter than the sun has been discovered by astronomers who say it may be the brightest and "most violent" place in the universe.

The huge black hole powering it is said to be between 17 and 19 billion times the mass of the sun and growing at the fastest rate ever seen.

uasars are the bright cores of 'active galaxies' - those that have supermassive black holes consuming huge amounts of matter.

The record-breaking quasar, discovered by an Australian-led team, is swallowing the equivalent of a sun a day as it pulls in vast amounts of gas.

The rotating disc of gas around its black hole has been likened to a cosmic hurricane - which experts say emits so much energy it's more than 500 trillion times more luminous than the sun.

"This quasar is the most violent place that we know in the universe," said lead author Christian Wolf, from the Australian National University.

It was thought to be a star when first spotted in 1980, but got reclassified as a quasar last year following observations in Australia and Chile's Atacama Desert.

Astronomers now think it's consuming the equivalent of 370 suns a year, about one a day, making it the fastest-growing black hole to date, according to the European Southern Observatory (ESA).

The quasar is known as J0529-4351 and is 12 billion light years away (a light year is 5.8 trillion miles).

The exciting thing about this quasar is that it was hiding in plain sight and was misclassified as a star previously," said Yale University astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan - who was not involved in the study.

In the vast expanse of space, scientists have stumbled upon a breathtaking discovery: a quasar that shines brighter than anything we've ever seen before! This celestial marvel is an incredible 500 trillion times brighter than our own Sun.

What exactly is a quasar, you might wonder? Well, think of it as a super-powered beacon of light emanating from the depths of the universe. Quasars are incredibly energetic and luminous objects found at the centers of galaxies, fueled by supermassive black holes greedily gobbling up surrounding material.

The discovery of this record-breaking quasar, named J2359+1241, is truly mind-boggling. It was found using powerful telescopes that can peer deep into space and detect faint objects billions of light-years away. This particular quasar was spotted by astronomers combing through vast amounts of data collected from these telescopes.

To put things into perspective, imagine standing on a dark night and seeing a tiny firefly flickering in the distance. Now, picture that firefly being magnified to the size of a blazing bonfire. That's essentially what we're dealing with here – a cosmic bonfire lighting up the universe like never before.

So, why is this discovery such a big deal? Well, for starters, it gives us valuable insights into the early universe. Quasars like J2359+1241 are ancient cosmic objects, dating back billions of years to a time when galaxies were still forming and the universe was a much different place. By studying them, scientists can unravel the mysteries of how galaxies evolve and grow over time.

Furthermore, this super-bright quasar challenges our understanding of astrophysics. Its immense brightness pushes the boundaries of what we thought was possible in the cosmos. Scientists are now scratching their heads, trying to figure out exactly how something can shine so brightly and what it means for our current models of the universe.

But perhaps most importantly, the discovery of J2359+1241 reminds us of the sheer wonder and beauty of the universe we inhabit. In a universe as vast and mysterious as ours, there are still countless wonders waiting to be uncovered, reminding us of just how small we are in the grand scheme of things.

So, as we marvel at this record-breaking quasar, let us also remember to keep looking up at the stars with awe and wonder, knowing that there are still countless secrets waiting to be revealed in the depths of space.

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