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Hidden In Plain Sight: A New Cosmic Quasar Emerges

Astronomers in Cape Canaveral, Florida have discovered what may be the brightest object in the universe: a quasar. Quasars are celestial objects that emit astronomically large amounts of energy due to a black hole at its center. However, these are not just any black holes, but supermassive black holes. The black hole within this specific quasar appears to be expanding rapidly, consuming the mass equivalent to one sun each day.


Interestingly enough, this particular celestial object has been on astronomers’ radar since 1980, yet wasn’t initially classified as a quasar, but as a star named J0529-4351. This now quasar was discovered by the European Southern Observatory. It’s quite interesting to consider how it managed to conceal itself so well, for so long, considering it has been around since very early on in the universe's formation 


For some context on how cosmically bright this quasar is, it shines 500 trillion times more than our solar system’s sun with the black hole consuming 370 suns a year, which is a mass that is 17-19 billion times more massive. Interestingly, the quasar is quite distant, so on images, it appears rather small, like a dot, for instance. 


The way this quasar seems to be moving is akin to a “cosmic hurricane," as stated by AP News. Additionally, it is now classified as the most violent object in our universe. Astronomers are quite excited to study this enigmatic discovery and uncover even more information about its existence. Learning more about this fascinating phenomenon will provide us with even more information about our galaxy and its formation. It’s thrilling to see how much is still being discovered about the universe.

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