Brightest Object Ever Seen in the UniverseCredit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

The brightest object ever seen in the Universe is 500 trillion times brighter than our Sun.

Astronomers using the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) have identified an incredibly bright object in space, possibly the brightest ever seen.

This object is a quasar, which is essentially the intense center of a distant galaxy powered by a supermassive black hole.

What sets this quasar apart is its remarkable growth rate: its black hole is consuming mass at a staggering pace, equivalent to the mass of one Sun every day.

This voracious appetite causes the matter swirling into the black hole to emit an immense amount of energy, making this quasar over 500 trillion times brighter than our Sun.

Brightest Object Ever Seen in the UniverseCredit: ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2/Dark Energy Survey

ANU PhD student and co-author Samuel Lai, said:

“All this light comes from a hot accretion disc that measures seven light-years in diameter — this must be the largest accretion disc in the Universe.”  Seven light-years is about 15,000 times the distance from the Sun to the orbit of Neptune.

“We have discovered the fastest-growing black hole known to date. It has a mass of 17 billion Suns and eats just over a Sun per day. This makes it the most luminous object in the known Universe,” says Christian Wolf, an astronomer at the Australian National University (ANU) and lead author of the study published today in Nature Astronomy. The quasar, called J0529-4351, is so far away from Earth that its light took over 12 billion years to reach us.

source ESO