Astronomers Have Just Discovered The Brightest Quasar In The Early Universe

This artist’s impression shows how J043947.08+163415.7, a very distant quasar powered by a supermassive black hole, may look close up.

In an incredible discovery, astronomers have spotted the brightest quasar to ever be seen in the early universe. Dubbed J043947.08+163415.7, this fantastic object lit up the cosmos at a time when the universe was less than 1-billion-years-old, shining with the blaze of 600 trillion suns, reports the Hubble Space Telescope website.

Located 12.8 billion light-years away, the ancient quasar was imaged with the help of several world-class telescopes in Hawaii, including the Gemini Observatory, the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT), the United Kingdom Infra-Red Telescope (UKIRT), the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS1) at Haleakala Observatory, and the W.M. Keck Observatory on Maunakea, Hawaii Island. However, it was Hubble that finally detected the incandescent object after picking up a beacon from the quasar via an effect called gravitational lensing.

This makes J043947.08+163415.7 the brightest gravitationally lensed object ever observed in the early universe — a title that the quasar is bound to hold on to for quite some time, notes the W.M. Keck Observatory.

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