The study suggests that the brightest object in the universe is a quasar fueled by a supermassive black hole

Astronomers have identified the brightest, most luminous object in the universe — a quasar that emits 500 trillion times more intense light than our Sun.

Quasars are dazzling swirls of fast-moving, super-heated gas produced by giant black holes—and this quasar is powered by the fastest-growing black hole known to humans, swallowing the equivalent of one sun per day. The European Southern Observatory.

What's more, this remarkable object was “hiding in plain sight” for decades before it was discovered. Observatory saidAdd that Very bright It was initially classified as a star not far from Earth.

In fact, the quasar, called J0529-4351, is so far away that its light took more than 12 billion years to reach us — and it's 17 billion times the mass of the Sun. “Quasars are still rare objects, so any time we find one, they're like gems in a lot of dirt,” said Christian Wolff, a professor at the Australian National University and lead author. studywas Published Monday, Nature Astronomy said in an email.

The study of quasars is important because “most massive galaxies have a supermassive black hole at their core, and they have influenced the growth of their host galaxies,” Wolff wrote, adding that such research could further our understanding of the expansion. The universe in the future.

The name “quasar” is synonymous with the star-like properties of the objects and refers to a quasi-stellar radio source.

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The light emitted by this quasar is 20,000 times more intense than the Milky Way galaxy, Wolff said. So extreme that if the object were placed in the center of the Milky Way, it would never return to night on Earth. “Even if the sun goes down, there will be twilight,” he said.

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Although the quasar appears beautiful and dreamlike in the artist's view, Wolf described the object as “a giant tornado with a black hole in the eye of the storm” or “We've found the largest gates to hell anywhere in the universe,” given the sheer size of its accretion disk — the matter being pulled toward the black hole.

“We must consider this quasar to be the most violent place we know in the universe because: the visible accretion disk is 7 light-years across,” he said in his email. This means you can expect scorching hot temperatures, strong magnetic fields, and wind speeds of thousands of miles per second to erupt at the outer edge and “cosmic-sized lightning bolts all over the place.”

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However, Wolff has words of reassurance for anyone feeling nervous about such a massive black hole. “The monster is not only distant… its light has traveled over 12 billion years to reach us. It also means that the black hole stopped growing a long time ago.

Wolf, who has described His mission to search for quasars was like a “treasure hunt,” and the discovery of this particular quasar put a “big smile” on his face and “a sense of wonder that such intense things exist.”

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