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Astronomers discover shockingly ancient black hole 420 trillion times as luminous as our sun

Astronomers discover shockingly ancient black hole 420 trillion times as luminous as our sun

WASHINGTON: Astronomers have discovered the most luminous object ever — an old quasar blasting energy from a massive black hole that is 420 trillion times as luminous as our sun.
The object, about 12.8 billion light years away, provides scientists with a view of an old quasar that existed just 900 million years after the Big Bang, and the fact that the black hole is so close to the beginning of the universe and yet to massive is surprising astronomers, according to a National Geographic report.
The black hole weighs as much as 12 billion suns — not the biggest black hole ever found, but amazingly huge for a body so young, according to the study, which was published this week in the journal Nature. The reason why its size is surprising is because black holes are typically thought to grow very slowly, sucking up gas and stars over many millions of years.
Scientists used telescopes in China, Chile, and Hawaii and Arizona in the United States to spot the quasar, which has a tremendous amount of luminosity from the gas that heats up as it squeezes into the black hole.
The quasar is amazingly bright — about 40,000 times brighter than the entire Milky Way galaxy.
Quasars are a unique phenomenon in that although all galaxies have a massive black hole at their center, not all of them have quasars, which are superheated gas emitted from the black hole.
The quasar appears as just a pinpoint of light to astronomers, who discovered that it is moving at a tremendous speed away from Earth, and a very long way away. Using this information, they were able to discover that the quasar is an astonishing 12 billion light years away, stretching almost back to the Big Bang — meaning that scientists were basically looking into a time machine to the very beginnings of the universe.