After deciding to re-examine some odd behavior near a black hole, astronomers and space experts managed to discover what’s possibly the strongest cosmic storm ever discovered, throwing some record-breaking winds in different directions.
Strongest Cosmic Storm Ever Recorded
When a supermassive black hole accelerates certain particles that it cannot absorb so much, quasars are created, which is essentially a massive and extremely remote celestial object that is capable of emitting exceptionally large amounts of energy. This occurs so intensely in fact, that they almost reach the speed of light as they hurtle out of the black hole that created them.
Other times, however, quasars reduce star formation by producing almost unimaginable wind speeds that spew through any nearby galaxies and space scientists have just discovered the strongest one yet.
“While high-velocity winds have previously been observed in quasars, these have been thin and wispy, carrying only a relatively small amount of mass. The outflow from this quasar, in comparison, sweeps along a tremendous amount of mass at incredible speeds. This wind is crazy powerful, and we don’t know how the quasar can launch something so substantial,” Professor Sarah Gallagher, a Western University astronomer and lead author in the groundbreaking research, said in a recent statement.
Per the research, the newly-discovered (and studied) quasar has been named SDSS J135246.37+423923.5 and is formed by a supermassive black hole.
“We were shocked — this isn’t a new quasar, but no one knew how amazing it was until the team got the Gemini spectra,” Professor Karen Leighly, an astronomer at the University of Oklahoma and co-author on the new research, said. “These objects were too hard to study before our team developed our methodology and had the data we needed, and now it looks like they might be the most interesting kind of windy quasars to study.”
According to the team, what’s even more fascinating is that these cosmic events most likely play a role in sculpting nearby galaxies into a certain structure.
Furthermore, the researchers believe there are more quasars like this one.
“There could be more of these quasars with tremendously powerful outflows hidden away in our surveys,” Hyunseop Choi, first author on the new research, said.