Astronomers Discovered the Brightest Quasar in Early Universe

Astronomers declared that they have discovered the brightest quasar yet, that is known as J043947.08+163415.7.

“We don’t expect to find many quasars brighter than that in the whole observable universe,” said the astronomers.

The news was announced by astronomers on January 9, 2019 at the 233rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, Washington. The brightest quasar is thought to be the bright cores of early active galaxies, powered by central, supermassive black holes.

“The extreme brightness of quasars – so bright that we can see them across a distance corresponding to most of the history of the universe – is believed to come from hot material falling into black holes. The newly discovered super-bright quasar is catalogued as J043947.08+163415.7. It shines with light equivalent to 600 trillion suns, from a distance 12.8 billion light-years from Earth”.

So after the discovering this one, it holds the record for being the brightest quasar in the early universe, and, astronomers say, it might hold this record for some years to come.

Astronomer Xiaohui Fan at the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory led the team that made the discovery has said “We don’t expect to find many quasars brighter than that in the whole observable universe”.

Another astronomer Fabio Pacucci has also commented. He is co-led the discovery, plus led an analysis of its theoretical implications; “For decades we thought that lensed quasars should be very common in the faraway universe, but this is the first source of this kind that we have found”.

Pacucci used the term phantom quasar to describe this object, and said J043947.08+163415.7 should provide insight on how to find more such objects. He said:

“These sources are difficult to detect, as our observations are misled by the presence of the lensing object, in between the faraway quasar and the Earth. If they do exist, ‘phantom quasars’ could revolutionize our idea of the most ancient history of the universe.”

brightest quasar
Artist’s concept showing how J043947.08+163415.7 – a very distant quasar powered by a supermassive black hole – might look close up. Image via ESA/Hubble/NASA/M. Kornmesser_image credit_

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