A Water Producing Quasar?

In the words of Douglas Adams; astrophysicists have discovered some insanely bizarre and enormously huge things in space. Mindbogglingly big. Some of those things are often mysterious, but it’s always cool to see them try. One of which, is a Quasar called APM 08279+5255 that’s 12 billion light years away and it’s generating a huge mass of water that’s 100,000 times more gigantic than the sun. That’s at least 140 trillion times the quantity of water that’s confined in all of the oceans on the Earth.

Keep in mind that a quasar is made by a huge black hole that is gradually consuming a adjoining disk of gas and dust in an accretion disk. As the black hole carries on to consume the matter, it spins faster and faster which heats it up and produces energy (more than 20 billion times the energy of the sun) and light. Researchers consider there is sufficient gas at present being spun by the quasar for the black hole its home to, to continue to mature until it swells up six times its current size.

As this specific distant quasar is so far away, we're seeing back at a time when the Cosmos was just 1.6 billion years old. This is significant for 2 reasons. First, it shows that water is persistent all over the Universe, even when it was still comparatively young. Second, water vapour is a significant trace gas that discloses the properties of the gas that’s being bathed in both x-ray and infrared radiation and how the quasar uses it. For example, studying the water vapours shows how the radiation heats up the rest of the gas.

This specific quasar has water vapours dispersed around a black hole in a area that spans a few hundreds of light-years across, and its existence shows that the gas surrounding this area is five times hotter and 10-100 times thicker than what’s typical of galaxies like ours.

There are two fates in store for the quasar: it’s supposed that the massive amount of gas will ultimately be banished into interstellar space, or it will coagulate into stars.



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