Scientists have confirmed that the biggest body of water known in the universe is 12 billion years old!
The reservoir of water was discovered by two teams of astronomers and it is confirmed as the largest and farthest body of water to ever be detected in the universe.
How big is it? Well they say it is significantly bigger than all the water on planet Earth. They even went further to say that it is the equivalent to 140 trillion times all the water in the oceans in our world – WOW.
If you think you can just open your home based telescope, sorry, there is little chance you can actually see it as the body of water is surrounded by a huge feeding black hole which is called Quasar, and it is located more than 12 billion years away, so pretty far.
This discovery is said to reveal a time where the universe was “only” 1.6 billion years old.
The discovery also proved that water can be found in the universe as Matt Bradford said, a leading scientist at NASA.
” The environment around this Quasar is unique in that it’s producing the huge mass of water, it’s another demonstration that water is pervasive throughout the universe, even at the very earliest times ”
If you’re wondering what is a Quasar anyway, it’s a massive celestial object that emits large amounts of energy, gas and dust that later falls into a supermassive black hole, that at its center, emit electromagnetic radiation across the entire electromagnetic spectrum.
I feel like I just read an episode from Star Trek – Amazing!
If you want to go into the details, the two groups of scientists studied a specific Quasar called APM 08279+5255 which harbors a black hole that is 20 billion times more massive than the sun and produces as much energy as a thousand trillion suns! WHAT? Yes, it’s pretty big.
The teams have detected several spectral signatures of water during the discovery and they were able to learn more about the mass of water.
This is not the first time astronomers find water in space, but in previous times, the water was mostly frozen in ice and they never discovered water going back so far in the universe in time.
In the hopes of learning more about the distant and oldest parts of the universe, the astronomers suggested building a 25 meter telescope to be hosted in the Atacama Desert in Chile.
The telescope that was originally named Atacama Telescope or CCAT, changed its name in 2020 to Fred Young Submillimeter Telescope or FYST after a person with the same name supported the telescope for two decades and 16 million dollars.
Since than tough, due to lack of funding, the project was put on hold.