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They discovered the brightest object in the universe that is powered by a voracious black hole

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They discovered the brightest object in the universe that is powered by a voracious black hole

Scientists Discover Quasar 500 Billion Times Brighter Than the Sun

Astronomers have discovered the brightest object known in the universe- a quasar 500 billion times brighter than our Sun. This quasar, hidden in plain sight, was identified by researchers using the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT). Australian astronomers detected the quasar, designated as J0529-4351, powered by the fastest-growing black hole ever discovered. Its mass is a staggering 17 billion times that of the Sun in our Solar System, with the ability to devour the equivalent of one sun per day.

The light from the celestial object traveled for more than 12 billion years until it reached Earth. After detailed analysis, researchers confirmed that it is more than 500 billion times more luminous than the Sun. “All this light comes from a hot accretion disk that measures seven light years across – this must be the largest accretion disk in the universe,” says ANU Ph.D. student and co-author, Samuel Lai.

The existence of this record-breaking quasar, which appeared in images dating back to 1980, was a surprising find and serves as a reminder of how much we still have to learn about the cosmos. The discovery of this quasar also raises compelling questions, piquing the curiosity of astronomers and inspiring them to seek out further discoveries.

Moreover, the fastest-growing black hole observed will serve as an ideal target for future scientific advancements, as instruments like the GRAVITY+ upgrade of ESO’s VLT Interferometer (VLTI) and the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) promise to offer new insights into the mysteries of the early universe and the formation and evolution of supermassive black holes and their host galaxies.

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The breakthrough discovery and ongoing research of distant supermassive black holes is not only scientifically exciting but also provides astronomers with the thrill of the chase. “Personally, I just like the chase,” says lead author Christian Wolf from the Australian National University, “For a few minutes a day, I feel like a child again, playing treasure hunt, and now I put on the table everything I have learned since then.”

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