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Astronomers Find Brightest Object of Early Universe

(Image credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser)

Scientists have discovered the most brilliant object yet from the infancy of the cosmos, a super-bright galaxy that challenges notions of how extraordinarily massive black holes evolved.The brilliant enigma is a quasar, a stage that some galaxies go through when lots of material falls into the supermassive black holes at their cores, giving off light as it does so.The quasar, assigned the name ULAS J1120+0641, is the most distant one found to date. It is by far the brightest object discovered from the early universe, giving off 60 trillion times as much light as our sun. (A trillion is 1 million millions.)

Charles Q. Choi
Charles Q. Choi is a contributing writer for Live Science and Space.com. He covers all things human origins and astronomy as well as physics, animals and general science topics. Charles has a Master of Arts degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida. Charles has visited every continent on Earth, drinking rancid yak butter tea in Lhasa, snorkeling with sea lions in the Galapagos and even climbing an iceberg in Antarctica.