In a major development, astronomers have discovered the most distant source of radio emission known to date.
According to the details, astronomers, with the help of the European Southern Observatory’s enormous Telescope, discovered and observed the most distant source of radio emission in the space.
The source is what scientists call a radio-loud quasar – a bright object with powerful jets emitting at radio wavelengths – that is so far away its light has taken 13 billion years to reach Earth. That’s nearly how old the scientific community believes the whole universe is!
Researchers believe that this discovery could help us understand the early Universe.
A quasar is a special type of galactic core that is known to exude immense amounts of light and energy. They normally lie at the centre of galaxies and are powered by supermassive black holes. As and when the black hole consumes the surrounding gas, it releases energy that is detected by astronomers, despite being several light-years away.
The discovery was made by a team of scientists, co-led by Eduardo Banados, a staff astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany and Chiara Mazzucchelli, researchers from the European Southern Observatory in Chile. They had been chasing radio signals like these for years, hoping to detect the most distant ever measured.
Finally, they got lucky on the night of January 12, 2019, when they managed to capture clear observations of the aforementioned quasar with the help of a spectrograph on the Magellan Baade Telescope. At the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. They further confirmed their findings on a variety of telescopes including the Keck Telescope, ESO’s Very Large Telescope and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Very Large Array, foreign media reported.
Powered by a black hole 300 million times larger than our Sun
These discoveries indicated that P172+18 is running on a black hole that is about 300 million times larger than the star of our solar system, the Sun. researchers are of the belief that there could be a link between rapid growth of a supermassive black hole and the powerful radio jets that highlighted quasars such as the P172+18.
Chiara Mazzucchelli said in a statement, “I find it very exciting to discover ‘new’ black holes for the first time, and to provide one more building block to understand the primordial Universe, where we come from, and ultimately ourselves.”
“This discovery makes me optimistic and I believe — and hope — that the distance record will be broken soon,” Bañados added.