Biggest cosmic explosion since the Big Bang

Scientists have detected the biggest explosion in the universe after the Big Bang. The explosion occurred from a supermassive black hole.

  • Where did the explosion take place?

The explosion took place in the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster which is 390 million light years away from earth. The explosion is said to have released 5 times as much energy as the previous record holder in a cluster called MS 0735+74.

  • Which telescopes were involved in its detection?

The explosion was detected using 4 telescopes: NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, ESA’s XMM-Newton, the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) in Western Australia and the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) in India. The detection was mainly enabled by new low frequency radio-telescopes.

  • What was the reason behind the explosion?

Black holes are known for consuming enormous amount of matter and energy. However, when the inward flow reaches a certain limit, a proportion of the accretion disk escapes from being consumed. This is redirected into jets that blasts out as 2 beams. The scientists report that the explosion was caused by the beam hitting something in space.

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