TechBlack hole devouring gigantic gas cloud sparks brightest, longest-lasting explosion ever witnessed, 8 billion light-years away

Black hole devouring gigantic gas cloud sparks brightest, longest-lasting explosion ever witnessed, 8 billion light-years away

The NASA telescope registered a flare
The NASA telescope registered a flare
Images source: © NASA

5:21 AM EST, January 14, 2024

This celestial flash was documented by the Zwicky Transient Facility astronomical survey in California. Initially, gauging the explosion's brightness was challenging due to the unknown distance to its origin.

A team led by Dr. Philip Wiseman from the University of Southampton set out to unravel this mystery. Shockingly, they discovered that the event occurred a staggering 8 billion light-years away.

This instance is unprecedented in scientific literature

According to Dr. Wiseman, no previous scientific literature mentioned anything as intensely bright and enduring.

"Most supernovae only last a few months before fading away. An object that shines brightly for over two years is highly unusual," stated Wiseman.

Wiseman suggests that the explosion resulted from a vast gas cloud, presumed to be thousands of times larger than our sun, consumed by a massive black hole. It is widely accepted that colossal black holes exist within all galaxies.

"We have never seen anything like this before, especially not on this scale. I would be astounded if this was the only occurrence in the Universe," Dr. Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society told BBC News.

Dr. Wiseman is optimistic that with new telescope systems launching in the near future, detecting similar events will be possible. His team is currently gathering as much data as possible about this explosion.

Last year, astronomers detected the brightest recorded explosion, a gamma-ray burst labeled GRB 221009A. Despite being brighter than AT2021lwx, the burst only lasted 10 hours, implying that the force of the AT2021lwx explosion was much greater.

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