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Astronomers Spot Brightest Object in Universe

Astronomers have found the brightest known object in the universe—a glowing core of a galaxy, called a quasar, located 12 billion light-years away. Quasars are the brightest objects in the cosmos, each consisting of a supermassive black hole that’s actively devouring an orbiting disc of gas and dust. But the black hole in this record-setting quasar is gobbling up more than a sun’s-worth of mass every day, making it the fastest growing black hole scientists have ever seen.

The gargantuan object stretches about seven light-years across, and it puts our sun’s luminosity to shame—the quasar shines more than 500 trillion times brighter than the star in our solar system.

Christian Wolf, lead author of the new study, said, “This quasar is the most violent place that we know in the universe. It is a surprise that it has remained unknown until today, when we already know about a million less impressive quasars. It has literally been staring us in the face until now.”

The black hole in the quasar is ravenous, consuming an amount of material equivalent to as much as 413 suns each year, and its black hole weighs about the same as 17 billion suns.

Wolf said, “It looks like a gigantic and magnetic storm cell with temperatures of 10,000 degrees Celsius, lightning everywhere and winds blowing so fast they would go around Earth in a second. He told reports that he doesn’t think anything will ever top this record for the universe’s brightest object.

Possible Preaching Angle:

This newly identified object is 500 trillion times brighter than our sun! How can anything be that bright? Thinking about this star gives us a sense of what the glorious presence of God is like, for Scripture says that God is a being who "lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see."

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