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US News: Astronomers record radio signal ... 13 billion years old

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Le quasar P172+18. © Provided by Gentside Quasar P172 + 18.

Human beings are but a tiny grain of sand in the middle of a vast desert. And this recent discovery once again confirms this observation.

A recent statement from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) reveals that astronomers have picked up the most distant radio signal known to date. The signal comes from a quasar (quasi-stellar radiosource, in English), "a bright object with powerful jets emitting in radio wavelengths," to use the ESO's words.

A time jump of 13 billion years

It's simple, its light reached Earth in ... 13 billion years. To make it seem more concrete, we have to imagine that this capture allows us to observe the quasar as it was when the Universe was "just" 780 million years old.

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At the origin of this discovery: Chiara Mazzucchelli, member of ESO in Chile, and Eduardo Bañados, of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany.

"As soon as we received the data, we inspected it, and we knew immediately that we had discovered the most distant strong radio emission quasar known to date ", explains Eduardo Bañados.

Nicknamed P172 + 18, the first observations of this quasar were carried out in Chile, using the Magellan telescope of the Observatory of Las Campanas Other telescopes have subsequently made it possible to study this object in greater depth

A dazzling growth

Because the quasar fascinates by its constitution and its evolution It is in fact a galaxy nucleus. It surrounds a supermassive black hole on which it feeds. part of our P172 + 18, this is not a small black hole. The latter is approximately 300 million times more massive than our Sun!

"The black hole eats matter very quickly, its mass is increasing at a rate among the highest ever observed", details Chiara Mazzucchelli.

A phenomenon that could explain the so powerful radio signals emitted and recently detected from P172 + 18. This discovery is thus part of a broader approach to understanding the beginnings of our Universe.

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