Astronomers detect biggest explosion ever seen in the universe


(Photo: Xinhua)

WASHINGTON, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Astronomers detected the biggest explosion ever seen in the universe, coming from a black hole in a distant galaxy cluster hundreds of millions of light years away.

The study published in the latest edition of the Astrophysical Journal described the record-breaking outburst in the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster, which is about 390 million light years from Earth.

In the center of the Ophiuchus cluster, there is a large galaxy that contains a supermassive black hole. The source of the gigantic eruption is this black hole, according to the study.

NASA's Chandra observations revealed in 2016 hints of the giant explosion in the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster, as they observed an unusual curved edge, potentially a part of the wall of a cavity in the hot gas created by jets from the supermassive black hole.

But researchers discounted this possibility in part because a huge amount of energy would have been required for the black hole to create an explosion this large.

Recently, Simona Giacintucci and his team with the US Naval Research Laboratory showed that an enormous explosion did occur, since XMM-Newton telescope of European Space Agency also detected the curved edge.

In addition, radio data from Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) in Australia and the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) in India confirmed that the curved edge is part of the wall of a cavity.

The amount of energy required to create the cavity in Ophiuchus is about five times greater than the previous record holder, MS 0735+74, and hundreds and thousands of times greater than typical clusters.