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A record-breaking quasar has been discovered that grows by 'eating' a sun every day

A record-breaking quasar has been discovered that grows by 'eating' a sun every day

Called J0529-4351, it is more than 12 billion light from Earth, and every day it “swallows” more mass than that of our sun, and according to the scientists who conducted the research, It's the brightest quasar ever seen, so bright that it confounds algorithms to Machine learning, and for this very reason it took years to identify him. It is the result of a discovery made thanks to the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which has already been included in a peer-reviewed study published in Nature astronomy. In addition to, Its accretion disk may be the largest everIts width is 7 light years, or approximately 66,000 billion kilometers, which is enough to cover approximately 15,000 times the distance between the Sun and Neptune. “This quasar is the most violent place we know of in the universe,” commented study co-author Christian Wolff, a professor and postdoctoral researcher at the Australian National University.

Quasars (from Italian “quastellar radio source”) are active galactic nuclei powered by extremely massive and luminous black holes. The term was coined by astrophysicist Hong Yi Chiu in 1964, and thanks to observations in deep space, it is believed that its origin can be traced back to collisions between galaxies, which… It pushes gases towards the central cores, bringing them into contact with black holes, causing the release of huge amounts of energy. In case J0529-4351It is a black hole dating back at least 12 billion years, its mass is 17 billion times the mass of the Sun, and its brightness is record: equal to 500 thousand billion stars similar to our star, which is the highest level ever recorded according to researchers. All of this is accompanied by a 7-light-year-long accretion disk that continues to remain stable thanks to the record amount of absorbed matter: J0529-4351 is growing by more than 23 trillion billion tons every secondOr the equivalent of about 4 planets like Earth.

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It was the being Discovery It dates back to 1980, but its high brightness has led to it being classified as a star. In fact, since no quasar has a similar brightness, the algorithms, which rely on historical data, They never identified J0529-4351 as a quasar, and mistakenly thought it was another celestial body not too far. But doubts emerged last year thanks to observations made by the Australian National University telescope and then confirmed by the Very Large Telescope located in the Chilean Atacama Desert. “It is surprising that they have remained unknown until today, when we already know about a million lesser-known quasars.”Christopher Onken, an astronomer at the Australian National University, said.

Moreover, according to press release From the Southeastern Observatory, it will be a new discovery An ideal lens to update your GRAVITY+ project On the Very Large Telescope interferometer, any instrument that allows images to be captured depicting the “faintest” and most distant astronomical objects in the universe with improved high-contrast resolution on very luminous objects. However, improving techniques is not the only reason researchers make new discoveries: “Personally, I simply love fishing. For a few minutes a day I feel like a kid againAs I play the treasure hunt, I now put on the table everything I have learned since then,” concluded Christian Wolff.

[di Roberto Demaio]