An ocean in space? Here’s why this news has gone viral again

Astronomers have made an extraordinary discovery, the largest and most distant reservoir ever discovered in the universe, estimated to be around 12 billion years old. Although the invention was first discovered a decade ago, it has recently gone viral again, capturing the public’s imagination with its staggering scale and implications.

The discovery involved two dedicated teams of astronomers and lasted three years of intensive research. At the helm Matt Bradford, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory The first team began their observations in 2008 in Pasadena, California. Using a 33-foot telescope near the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii, they made initial observations before following a series of radio dishes in the Inyo Mountains of southern California.

A second team led by Darius Liss, senior research associate in physics at Caltech and deputy director of the Caltech Submillimeter Laboratory, confirmed the findings using the Plateau de Pure interferometer in the French Alps.

This cosmic reservoir is not a small body of water; This is equivalent to 140 trillion times the water found in all of Earth’s oceans. More than 12 billion light-years away, the water contains a black hole called a quasar. Quasars are massive celestial objects that emit vast amounts of energy.

Bradford highlighted the uniqueness of the quasar’s environment, noting that it demonstrates how water is spread throughout the universe, even at its earliest stages. Before this discovery, astronomers had never detected water vapor at the beginning of the universe. Although there is water in the Milky Way, most of it is frozen.

The presence of water around the quasar indicates that the quasar is „bathing” the gas in X-rays and infrared radiation, making it unusually hot and dense by astronomical standards. Although the gas is a frigid minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius) and 300 trillion times less dense than Earth’s atmosphere, it is still five times hotter and 10 to 100 times denser than that in galaxies like the Milky Way.

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Astronomers continue to hope that this discovery will provide further insights into the distant universe through current and future research.

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