May 30, 2023

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Space: record the largest cosmic explosion in history

Image: AP (file)

Fireball 100 times the size Solar System which went down in history as The largest cosmic explosion, observed by astronomers.

The explosion is believed to have been caused by a giant cloud of gas that “swallowed” a supermassive black hole and occurred 8 billion light-years away, according to a study published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Parts of the cloud were “gobbling up,” sending shock waves through its remnants, as well as in a large donut-shaped formation around the black hole. Such events are very rare and nothing of this magnitude has ever been seen before.

Space: Record the largest cosmic explosion in history -1

Scientists estimate that the explosion, known as AT2021lwx, is the result of a giant cloud of gas, possibly thousands of times more massive than our Sun.

Last year, a team led by Dr Philip Wiseman of the University of Southampton analyzed the light from the recorded event, allowing them to estimate the distance, at 8 billion light-years away. Dr. Weismann described the moment when the brightness of the phenomenon was calculated. “We said, ‘Oh my God, that’s outrageous!'”

The explosion was first detected in 2020 by the Zwicky Transit Facility in California, which scans the night sky for sudden increases in brightness that could indicate cosmic events such as supernovae or passing asteroids and comets.

With information from the BBC

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