It’s been just revealed that the biggest explosion since the beginning of the Universe just occurred and it’s origins lay in a super-massive black hole.
Deutsche Welle notes that the blast was the biggest explosion since the Big Bang, and it reportedly released five times more energy compared to the previous record holder.
The Big Bang is the cosmological model that’s describing a really fast expansion of matter and energy that created what we call the observable Universe.
The explosion occurred 390 million light-years away
This massive explosion took place at the center of the Ophiuchus cluster of galaxies, which is located at about 390 million light-years away.
The cluster is a conglomeration of thousands of galaxies, dark matter and hot gas as well – all of these are bound together by gravity.
“We’ve seen outbursts in the centers of galaxies before, but this one is really, really massive, ” according to Melanie Johnston-Holitt, a professor at the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR). She continued and said, “And we don’t know why it’s so big.”
The online publication mentioned above notes that the astronomers used NASA‘s Chandra X-Ray Observatory to make the discovery.
It’s also worth noting that they used a European space observatory and ground telescopes as well.
Scientists picked up the very first sign of the explosion in 2016.
Experts rule out a potential eruption
The images of the cluster showed a curved edge, but experts ruled out a potential eruption considering the amount of energy that would have been required in order to create such a massive cavity of gas, DW reports.
It’s also interesting to note the fact that the lead author of the study, Dr. Simona Giacintucci from the Naval Research Laboratory in the United States compared this huge blast to the ruption from back in 1980 of Mount St. Helens which tore the top of the mountain.
“The difference is that you can fit 15 Milky Way galaxies in a row into the crater this eruption punched into the cluster’s hot gas,” she said.