Astronomers have found a galaxy whose super-luminous nucleus--called a quasar--is burning 100 times as much energy as the entire Milky Way galaxy.
Though theory has long predicted that quasars this powerful should exist, the newly-discovered object, known as SDSS J1106+1939, is by far the most energetic ever observed. The quasar is powered by a supermassive black hole that lies at its center.
Scientists made the discovery using the X-shooter spectrograph instrument attached to ESO's Very Large Telescope. The spectrograph split light coming from the quasar into its component wavelengths, allowing astronomers to observe the movement of material close to the quasar. The team calculated that the quasar is spewing an annual 400 suns worth of gas and dust, at a velocity of nearly 5000 miles per second.
Giant outflows like this one may be able to answer some big cosmic mysteries, like how the black hole at the center of each galaxy affects its size, and why there are so few big galaxies in the Universe.
And on another interesing note:
Giant Black Hole Could Upset Galaxy Evolution Models
"Burns", "is burning 100 times as much energy as the entire Milky Way galaxy", "is by far the most energetic ever observed", "The quasar is powered by a supermassive black hole that lies at its center" and "The team calculated that the quasar is spewing an annual 400 suns worth of gas and dust, at a velocity of nearly 5000 miles per second" give the impresion that all this is happening right now. All those articles should be writen in the past tense. We think that what we see is the present but everything we see around us, no matter how close to us, is always in the past.
On the other hand, when will everybody stick to the metric system? The resulting confusion has already cost many billions of dollars.
interesting point Peter10 but a futile argument. In my opinion using present tense is simply to let us know the light display could possibly still be happening. We have no way of knowing really until the light burns out.