Hubble Telescope discovers ancient quasars with brightness of 600-trillion suns

Tech support in space: Broken Hubble telescope camera may get a reboot

Hubble loses best camera but discovers brightest ever quasar

Known as a quasar, this object is the brightest of its kind ever seen in the distant universe.

"That object had been sitting in the database for a few years now, but no one had looked at that part of the sky for quasars, because we usually don't".

When the inflow of gas and dust to this black hole reaches a certain level, the event can cause a "quasar" to form - an extremely bright region as the material swirls around the black hole. It's burning brighter than 600 trillion suns.

They believe the quasar can provide an insight into galaxies' birth, when the universe was about a billion years old.

A red shift value of 6.51 is one of the largest recorded by astronomers and helped to closely estimate the age of the quasar.

Astronomers said the quasar has a brightness equivalent to about 600 trillion suns and the supermassive black hole powering it is several hundred million times as massive as our sun.

"At 1723 UTC on Jan 8, the Wide Field Camera 3 on the Hubble Space Telescope suspended operations due to a hardware problem", according to a short statement.

The data shows not only that the supermassive black hole is accreting matter to itself at an extremely high rate, but also that the quasar may be producing up to 10,000 stars per year, scientists said. By comparison, the Milky Way produces about one new star a year.

"We don't expect to find many quasars brighter than that in the whole observable universe".

He added: 'That's something we have been looking for a long time.

He added: "Its properties and its distance make it a prime candidate to investigate the evolution of distant quasars and the role supermassive black holes in their centres had on star formation".

Data will now be gathered on the quasar with the use of the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope to try to identify its chemical composition and temperatures of intergalactic gas in the early universe.

Earth's atmosphere made deciphering the images hard and only by using Hubble were scientists able to identify the quasar image is split into three components.

The galaxy bent the light from the quasar making it appear three times as large and 50 times as bright as it would have been without the effect of gravitational lensing, astronomers said.

Astronomers have just discovered a galaxy with a supermassive black hole at its core, and it's located over 12.8 billion light-years away from Earth, just a billion years shy of the Big Bang.

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