Mar 1, 2024

Brightest and Fastest-Growing: Astronomers Identify Record-Breaking Quasar

Posted by in category: cosmology

Using the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have characterized a bright quasar, finding it to be not only the brightest of its kind but also the most luminous object ever observed. Quasars are the bright cores of distant galaxies, and supermassive black holes power them.

The black hole in this record-breaking quasar is growing in mass by the equivalent of one sun per day, making it the fastest-growing black hole to date.

The black holes powering quasars collect matter from their surroundings in an energetic process that emits vast amounts of light. So much so that quasars are some of the brightest objects in our sky, meaning even distant ones are visible from Earth. Generally, the most luminous quasars indicate the fastest-growing supermassive black holes.

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