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back to article MONSTER QUASAR BLAST blows stunned astro boffins' WIGS OFF

Physics boffins have discovered a dying galaxy whose black hole core has emitted the biggest burst of energy ever to be found by scientists. Researchers at Virginia Tech in the US examined the record-breaking quasar, dubbed SDSS J1106+1939, using a colossal telescope in Paranal, Chile to observe what they described as a "monster …

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My quasar is bigger than yours.

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Coat

Yeah, well my quasar kicks your quasars ass in gamma ray output.

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Linux

Yeah, its big enough, but do you know how to use it?

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Facepalm

I completely lost track of the story...

I was reading the story through, suitably scientifically interested...and then I saw the picture.

Now all I can think is 'GIANT HEADCRAB LEAPS AT EARTH!'.

Gordon Freeman would not be impressed....

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Ref: El Reg Measurement Standards

"...equivalent to two trillion times the power output of the sun."

I wonder how much Mentos and Diet Coke that equates too?

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Re: Mentos and Diet Coke equivalent

Eleventy-point-237 bagoolion

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Mushroom

so...

... enough to wipe out any conceivable life that was in that galaxy. What a way to go...

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Re: so...

But it's at z=3, so we're seeing it as it was roughly 10 billion years ago, or 3.5 billion years after the big bang. Given the time necessary for galaxies to form, heavy elements to be generated and then broadcast by supernovae etc, it doesn't seem very likely that life (as we know it, Jim) would have been present.

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Re: so...

Indeed. Perhaps life has formed and evolved since then to a point at which is actually does now exist there :D

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Re: so...

Life 'as we know it' existed on Earth 3.5 billion years after it formed.

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Boffin

Re: so...

@Ravenviz

But the earth did not, (could not possibly) have formed within 3.5 billion years of the big bang...

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Boffin

Galaxies don't die

Galaxies don't die. But star do, along with quasars, black holes and so on. But that takes long time in each case. What this one is doing now is a good question.

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Mushroom

Treellion...pfft.

Wake me up when it's a GAZILLION!

Nuke... 'cos it just seems so puny now.

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Mushroom

Obi-Wan

" I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened"

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Re: Obi-Wan

Yes, a long time ago in a galaxy, far far away.

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Big and complicated science made accessible.

" ... while our Milky Way galaxy has a relatively piddly black hole at its heart, the one found in quasar SDSS J1106+1939 is whopping."

That's why I read The Register.

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Megaphone

Dearest El Reg

When it comes to such staggering numbers, would you please be so kind and write them down in powers of 10 to make them easier to imagine?

Lovely article otherwise.

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Re: Dearest El Reg

Well, to use scientific notation, the ratio of power output to that of our Sun would be around 2.0 × 10^12.

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Happy

Re: Dearest El Reg

Now that the Great Debate of using SI or not has finished, maybe to prevent people from mentally slowing down, start using Crore / Lakh? Keeps the discussions lively, i'm sure ;-)

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Head crunching numbers

So, off the top of my head the sun's power is about 3 x 10^26 W and there are about 10^11 stars in our galaxy...

and to top it all, it's 100 times more power than that which is 3 x 10^39 W, divide by c^2 (lets say 10^17) equals 3 x 10^22 kg of matter converted to energy per second... And as the Earth's mass is approx 6 x 10^24 kg that's 1/200 the mass of the earth converted from matter to energy every second.. ooh my brain hurts

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Energy output like that...

You could make toast really really quickly.

Just sayin'.

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Boffin

Re: Energy output like that...

Probably within the Planck time. Quantum toast.

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Re: Energy output like that...

Basil: Ever seen my wife making toast Polly?

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Re: Energy output like that...

Don't be daft. To make toast really quickly you'd need two of these so that you could toast both sides at the same time.

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Science eh?

It just keeps on giving and giving...wow!

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