Astronomers found a quasar burning brighter than 600 trillion suns

Ultrabright Quasar Lit Up the Early Universe

These regions emit huge amounts of electro-magnetic radiation in their jets, and can be a trillion times brighter than the sun.

NASA's Hubble Telescope captured the brilliant beacon of light coming from the quasar which is 12.8 billion light-years away. The telescope has one other camera and two spectrographs that remain operational and will keep collecting data, NASA said in an announcement.

They believe the quasar can provide an insight into galaxies' birth, when the universe was about a billion years old.

The news came as it emerged that Hubble has discovered the brightest quasar ever seen in the early universe, with the brightness of about 600 trillion suns.

Nasa's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe in 2012 estimated that the universe is more than 13 billion years old.

The Hubble Space Telescope's premier camera has shut down because of a hardware problem.

Despite its brightness Hubble was only able to spot the quasar with the help of strong gravitational lensing caused by a dim galaxy between the quasar and the Earth.

The astronomers only came across it because of a galaxy in the foreground that acted as a gravitational lens - amplifying the ancient light from the quasar.

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He added: 'Its properties and its distance make it a prime candidate to investigate the evolution of distant quasars and the role supermassive black holes in their centres had on star formation'.

"We don't expect to find many quasars brighter than that in the whole observable Universe!".

"Clearly, this black hole is not only accreting gas, but has a lot of star formation around it", said team member Jinyi Yang at the University of Arizona.

Scientists claim it is by far the brightest quasar yet discovered in the early universe.

"That object had been sitting in the database for a few years now, but no one had looked at that part of the sky for quasars, because we usually don't".

Fixing the problem with Hubble, which is nearly 30 years old, would require additional government employees who are forbidden to work during the shutdown.

"We can even look for gas around the black hole and what the black hole may be influencing in the galaxy". Luckily, the newly studied quasar and galaxy were just bright enough to be flagged as potential distant-universe objects.

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