(ORDO NEWS) — A team of astronomers led by astrophysicists from the University of Southampton recorded the largest explosion in the universe to date. The explosion was ten times more powerful than the brightest supernova and was likely caused by a black hole tearing apart a space object. This is reported by the publication Space.
The explosion, dubbed AT2021lwx, was recorded in 2020 by the Zwicky Transient Center in California. However, this type of data is not analyzed by humans on an ongoing basis, as it is not possible due to the amount of information collected.
Only years later, the most interesting anomalies are caught by analytical algorithms. This is what happened with the biggest explosion in history.
“We came across it by chance because it was flagged by our search algorithm when we were looking for a type of supernova,” said Philip Wiseman, a researcher at the University of Southampton.
Next, the AT2021lwx flash was recorded by ATLAS in Hawaii, which is Earth‘s latest asteroid impact warning system. An instrument used every day to detect asteroids headed for Earth spotted a huge flare. Astronomers directed their telescopes to the designated location and began research.
It turned out that astronomers witnessed the largest known explosion in space. The event was 10 times brighter than the brightest supernova and three times more powerful than the largest recorded explosion.
The only thing in the known universe that is as bright as AT2021lwx are supermassive black holes. When these “monsters” are fed by stellar gases that fall into them at high speeds, they can emit incredibly bright radiation known as quasars.
While there are other possible explanations for the big bang, astronomers’ current favorite explanation is that an extremely large cloud of hydrogen gas entered orbit around the black hole and was sucked into it.
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