A research team led by Chinese astronomers has discovered the most luminous supermassive quasar, a shining object produced by the black hole, ever found in the distant universe. According to the study published in Nature, the quasar is 12 billion times the masses of the Sun and 430 trillion times brighter than the Sun.
The black hole, which is 12.8 billion light years from Earth, was first spotted through a 2.4 meter telescope in Lijiang in southwest China's Yunnan Province and its existence was confirmed by follow-up studies in the United States and Chile. This discovery "presented a major puzzle" to the theories of black hole growth in the early universe. The researchers believed that this will provide a unique laboratory to study the mass assembly and galaxy formation around massive black holes in the early universe.
Spotting such a celestial body usually requires a 10-meter telescope. But Chinese astronomers observed it through a 2-meter telescope. It demonstrates their creativity. Thanks to certain key technologies developed in recent years, scientists were able to select several hundred quasar candidates from over a million celestial bodies.
Quasars are believed to be the brightest and most energetic objects in the universe. Since the first quasar was identified in 1963, over 200 thousand quasars have been found. (Xinhua)