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Space & Astronomy

Largest explosion since the Big Bang detected

By T.K. Randall
February 28, 2020 · Comment icon 8 comments

Image Credit: XMM / CHANDRA / GMRT / 2MASS / NASA
Scientists have spotted an explosion five times greater than anything seen since the birth of the universe.
Discovered by a team of US and Australian astronomers, this colossal explosion was produced by a burst of energy from a supermassive black hole in a galaxy cluster 390 million light years away.

It released the same amount of energy as the annual output of 10^20 suns (that's 1 with 20 zeroes), however the event itself seemed to have occurred over the course of hundreds of millions of years.

"You could fit 15 Milky Way galaxies in a row into the crater this eruption punched into the cluster's [plasma]," said Simona Giacintucci from the US Naval Research Laboratory.
Evidence of the event was picked up by several major telescopes including NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray telescope.

Aside from the Big Bang, which brought the universe itself into existence, this is by far the largest explosion ever observed - five times larger than anything else seen before.

"We've seen outbursts in the centers of galaxies before but this one is really, really massive... and we don't know why it's so big," said Curtin University's Melanie Johnston-Hollitt.

Source: | Comments (8)

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Comment icon #1 Posted by Damien99 4 years ago
Hi guys hope everyone is doing well. i had some questions about this explosion?   1. If the explosion was that big and took up so much space does that mean all the planets and stars in the vicinity of the burst were destroyed? 2. The article mentions that the explosion took place over millions of years but has stopped now, how do they know it stopped. Can they still see that area? 3. how long will it take for the shockwave from this event to reach us here on earth. 4. can the effects of this reach i... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 4 years ago
Yes. What is being observed is a cavity,  an area devoid stars and planets. How do you know if a bomb has stopped exploding? Because you don't see an explosion. Same thing here. They are observing the after effects of an explosion.  The shockwave won't reach us here, the explosion was hundreds of millions of light years away. Intergalactic space is essentially a vacuum, so there is nothing for a shock wave to travel through... certainly not over those distances.  The effects of this will never reach us.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Damien99 4 years ago
So the shockwave is not expanding in that region still destroying things in its path?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 4 years ago
I mentioned INTERGALACTIC space. That is the space between galaxies. The shock wave passes through INTERSTELLAR space, that is the space between the stars within a galaxy. This event is not in our galaxy, it is in a galaxy hundreds of millions of light years away. What's more, because we are observing an event in a galaxy hundreds of millions of light years away we are observing an event that occurred hundreds of millions of years ago, You don't seem to have a grasp of how big space is. Light travels at a speed of around 300,000 kilometres per second (186,282 miles per second). A light year is... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by Damien99 4 years ago
I understand that, but my question was you had said the explosion is done cause they see the area but in that specific area Is the  shockwave expanding in that region still destroying things in its path?   so they didn’t see the actual explosion the . Is there still stats and galaxies around there?
Comment icon #6 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 4 years ago
Read the first line of the article until you understand it and then try thinking for yourself.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Damien99 4 years ago
This one  Astronomers have spotted a cosmic blast that dwarfs all others. the article you posted or I did 
Comment icon #8 Posted by Damien99 4 years ago
Also is there still other stars and galaxies in that area of the universe that we see 

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