Astronomers have discovered the largest reservoir of water in the universe, surrounding a black hole more than 12 billion light-years away. Water vapor is distributed around the black hole in a gaseous region spanning hundreds of light-years. Learn more about this amazing find.
Astronomers discover the largest reservoir of water in the Universe.
A group of scientists CalTech (California Institute of Technology) discovered the largest reservoir of water ever located in the universe, equivalent to 140 trillion times all the water in the Earth’s ocean. This impressive discovery is more than 12 billion light-years away, surrounding a black hole.
The study of quasar called APM 08279+5255 revealed that water vapor is distributed around the black hole in a gaseous region spanning hundreds of light-years. This finding indicates that the quasar bathes the gas in X-rays and infrared radiation, and that the gas is also hot and dense by astronomical standards.
Quasars are an inexhaustible source of energy, fueled by a gigantic black hole that relentlessly devours a surrounding disk of gas and dust. With each bite, these cosmic phenomena expel gigantic amounts of radiation, making them the brightest and most visible objects from astronomical distances, and allowing them to be easily detected even in the most remote regions of the world. ‘universe.
The Bradford team has been making their observations since 2008, using the “Z-Spec” instrument at the California Institute of Technology’s Submillimeter Observatory. Water vapor measurements suggest there is enough gas to fuel the black hole until it grows to six times its size. However, it is not yet known if this will happen, as some of the gas could end up condensing into stars or being ejected from the quasar.
This amazing discovery was partially funded by NASA and was published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters. Astronomers involved in the study say the discovery is yet another demonstration that water is ubiquitous throughout the universe, even in the earliest times.
This discovery has impressed astronomy experts because it shows that water is one of the most abundant elements in the universe. Science never ceases to amaze us!