Cosmic explosions, for example, during the death of supernovae, are not so rare in the universe. But scientists discovered the “eruption” of a black hole three years ago as the most powerful in the history of astronomy. The late publication of the results of the study is explained simply: for three years, astronomers simply could not believe that a phenomenon of this magnitude could even happen.
The explosion was first recorded in 2016 by a group of astronomers studying images taken by the Chandra Space Observatory. At first, the researchers did not even consider the “crater” found in the Ophiuchus cluster as a result of the explosion — they simply did not believe in the scale of such an event. Science was able to consider and prove this theory only three years later.
“In a sense, this explosion is similar to the St. Helens eruption in 1980,” scientists say. “The difference is that you could put fifteen galaxies of the Milky Way in a row into the formed crater when this happened.”
Detonation of interstellar matter was caused by a black hole located 390 million light-years from Earth. The x-ray generated by the explosion spread over 1,575,000 light years — 15 times the length of the Milky Way.
Researchers note that at some point the black hole tried to absorb too much dust and gas, and as a result, the substance “shot” into the surrounding space at about light speed, depriving the supermassive black hole of fuel for growth. The joint work of several groups of astronomers who came to the same conclusions and were able to combine the data obtained, revealing the secret of the largest observed explosion in the Universe from the moment of its formation, helped to finally identify the explosion.