Discovered the brightest quasar in the Universe. It 600 trillion times brighter than our Sun

From the Earth we, of course, it seems that the brightest spot in the sky – the Sun. However, this amazing in every way a star, like a 10 watt bulb compared to truly the brightest objects in the cosmos, for example, the same quasars. These objects are dazzling galactic nuclei shining as much due to its hungry nature. At their centers are supermassive black holes, devouring any surrounding matter. Recently, scientists have discovered the most brilliant representative. The brightness greater than the sun of almost 600 trillion times.

Kvazar, which scientists writing in The Astrophysical Journal Letters and called J043947.08+163415.7 brightness significantly surpasses the previous record holder – and he glows with the power of 420 trillion suns. For comparison, the brightest ever discovered by astronomers galaxies has a luminosity of “only” 350 trillions of stars.

“We did not expect to detect the quasar brightness is stronger than the entire observable Universe,” says the head of research, Shaohua fan.

It is logical to ask: how could astronomers have missed such a bright object and found it only now? The reason is simple. The quasar is located almost on the other side of the Universe, at a distance of about 12.8 billion light years. It could only be detected thanks to the strange physical phenomenon known as gravitational lens.

The diagram shows how the effect of gravitational lensing

According to the General theory of relativity, very massive objects in space through its gravity means to bend the direction of movement of waves of light, literally forcing them to go around the source of gravity. In our case, the light from the quasar was distorted galaxy located almost in the middle between us and the source, which has increased its luminosity is almost 50 times. In addition, in the case of strong gravitational lensing can be observed from multiple images of the background object, because the light from the source comes to us in different ways and, accordingly, will be coming to the observer at different times.

“Without such a strong level of magnification we couldn’t see the galaxy in which it is located,” says Feiga Wang, another author of the study.

“Due to this effect, you can even trace the gas around the black hole and find out what is the overall effect of this black hole has on its home galaxy.”

Gravitational lensing allows scientists to see the object in more detail. Thus, it was found that the brightness of an object falls on a very hot dust and gas falling into a supermassive black hole at the center of the quasar. However, the part adds brightness and a fairly dense cluster of stars at the galactic center. About astronomers estimate that the galaxy is the brightest quasar, produces annually about 10 000 new stars, making our milky Way in its background a real bummer. In our galaxy, say astronomers, on average, a year is born just one star.

The fact that such a bright quasar was able to detect only now once again shows how astronomers actually limited in their ability to detect these objects. The researchers say that because of the distances of most quasars is determined by their red colour, but many of them may fall in the “shadow” of galaxies that are in front of these objects. These galaxies make images of quasars more blurry and the color of the leaves is stronger in the blue range of the spectrum.

“We think that the present moment could miss 10 to 20 such facilities. Just because they might seem to us unlike quasars because of its blue bias,” says Fang.

“This may indicate that our traditional way of finding quasars may not work and we need to find new means of finding and observing these objects. Perhaps relying on the analysis of large data sets”.

The brightest quasar was confirmed with a telescope of MMT Observatory (Arizona, USA), after the information about this flashed during the infrared study of the sky by British experts (UK Infrared Telescope Hemisphere Survey), observations of the telescope Pan-STARRS1, as well as archival data infrared space telescope NASA WISE. Using the space telescope “Hubble”, scientists were able to confirm that the quasar they see using the effect of gravitational lensing.

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