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“500,000 billion times brighter than the Sun”: discovery of the brightest celestial object in the universe

2024-02-20T14:01:50.617Z

Highlights: Australian astrophysicists have detected a supermassive black hole with the most intense activity ever recorded. This quasar “swallows” the equivalent of a Sun’s worth of material every day. It has a mass greater than 17 billion of our Sun and eats a little more than one Sun per day. The quasar, named J0529-4351, is 12 billion light years away and devours the equivalent. of 370 Suns each year. It is “the most violent place we know in the universe”


Australian astrophysicists have detected a supermassive black hole with the most intense activity ever recorded. This quasar “swallows” the equivalent of a Sun’s worth of material every day.


The universe continues to reveal its mysteries.

The latest major discovery is an immense quasar, 500,000 billion times brighter than our Sun.

This source of radiation was spotted in 1980. But thanks to the VLT of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), located in the Atacama Desert (Chile), we now know its exact size and we are able to affirm that it is indeed the brightest star ever observed.

A quasar is a bright core of a distant galaxy, powered by the supermassive black hole at its center.

The black hole

“collects matter in a process so energetic that it emits large amounts of light,”

says Christian Wolf, an astronomer at the Australian National University (ANU) and lead author of the study published Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy.

“We have discovered the fastest growing black hole known to date,”

certifies the researcher.

It has a mass greater than 17 billion of our Sun and eats a little more than one Sun per day.

This makes it the brightest object in the known Universe.”

12 billion light years from Earth

The quasar, named J0529-4351, is 12 billion light years away and devours the equivalent of 370 Suns each year, or about one per day.

It is

“the most violent place we know in the universe”

, according to Christian Wolf, who also believes that it has

“the fastest growing to date”.

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) allows itself a reminder to take advantage of any error.

“A few years ago, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) announced the discovery, using the Hubble telescope, of a quasar as bright as 600,000 billion suns,”

writes the intergovernmental organization in a statement.

After more precise research, astronomers had reclassified the real luminosity

“at around 11,000 billion suns”

, because of a luminosity amplified

“by the effect of a lensing galaxy”

.

The biggest surprise for the researchers is the late timing of their new discovery.

“It's surprising that it remained unknown until today, when we already know about a million less impressive quasars,”

says co-author Christopher Onken, an astronomer at the Australian National University.

 "We were literally in front of him until today."

Source: lefigaro

All tech articles on 2024-02-20

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