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NASA observes galaxy as bright as 300 trillion suns

by Brandon Russell | January 15, 2016January 15, 2016 1:12 pm PDT


NASA has discovered a far-off galaxy that researchers claim produces an “intense” brightness, though that description may be the understatement of the century. The galaxy, data shows, shines like a combination of more than 300 trillion suns.

300 trillion suns.

My eyes burn just thinking about it.

Astronomer Roberto Assef, lead researcher of the observing team at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, said the recently discovered galaxy is tearing itself apart, and at the same time, turbulent gas is being expelled—a never before seen phenomenon in an object of this kind, NASA said.

Astronomers believe a supermassive black hole is to blame for the unruly turbulence. The friction, according to NASA, is what is making the galaxy shine so bright.

“A likely finale would be that the galaxy will blow out all of the gas and dust that is surrounding it, and we would see accretion disk without its dust cover—what we call a quasar,” Assef said.

NASA said the rare galaxy, which is about 12.4-billion light years away, is part of objects known as Hot, Dust-Obscured Galaxies, or Hot DOGs; they’re observed in about 1 out of every 3,000 galaxies.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...