JWST the universe hottest place

Hottest Place in the Universe

Space scientists have discovered the hottest place known in the universe where temperatures reach an amazing 10 trillion kelvin (roughly 18 trillion °F, or 10 trillion °C). 

The Quasar 3C 273 is the hottest place in the universe, that we know of. Roughly 1.9 billion lightyears away, residing in the large elliptical galaxy in the Virgo constellation. The photograph below was taken by Hubble’s Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 and showcases quasar 3C 273, and took 2.5 billion years to reach us.

Note: as a comparison, the Sun’s core reaches 27 million °F or 15 million °C.

hottest place in the universe
Quasar 3C273 Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

What is a Quasar?

A quasar, which stands for “quasi-stellar radio source,” is an extremely luminous astronomical object found at the center of some distant galaxies. They are among the most brilliant and energetic objects in the universe. Here are some key points about quasars:

  1. Supermassive Black Holes: At the heart of a quasar is a supermassive black hole, often with a mass ranging from millions to billions of times that of the Sun.
  2. Accretion Disk: Surrounding the black hole is an accretion disk, which is a rotating disk of gas and dust. As material from this disk spirals into the black hole, it heats up to extremely high temperatures, emitting vast amounts of light and radiation. As material from the disk falls inwards, 3C 273 fires off super fast jets into the surrounding space. In the photograph above, you can see this as a cloudy streak on the top left of the image, measuring roughly 200,000 light years in length.
  3. Immense Brightness: Quasars are so bright that they can outshine their entire host galaxy. Their luminosity makes them visible across great distances, even billions of light-years away.
  4. Emission of Energy: They emit energy across the electromagnetic spectrum, including radio waves, visible light, ultraviolet light, X-rays, and gamma rays.
  5. High Redshifts: Many quasars have high redshifts, which means they are moving away from Earth at a significant fraction of the speed of light. This high redshift also indicates that we see them as they were in the distant past, often billions of years ago.
  6. Role in Galaxy Formation: Quasars are thought to play a key role in the formation and evolution of galaxies.
  7. Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN): Quasars are a type of Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN), which is a general term for any galaxy’s central region that shows signs of energetic processes beyond those expected from stars and their evolution alone.

Quasars provide important clues to the conditions in the early universe and are crucial in the study of cosmology and galaxy evolution.

Scientist discover the hottest gas in the universe

Back in 2009, Scientists from JAXA reported the hottest gas in the Universe reaching up to 300 million degrees . C, you can read all about it below.

A cloud of searing gas is surrounding a swarm of galaxies clustered together five billion light-years away in the constellation of Virgo.

hottest place in the universe
A photo of the cluster of galaxies RXJ1347 taken with the Hubble space telescope (left) and the same region pictured in X-ray light by Chandra. (NASA)

The cosmic hotspot was detected by an X-ray telescope board a Japanese satellite called Suzaku. The cluster of galaxies, labelled RXJ1347, is five million light-years wide.

Scientists combined their results with X-ray images taken by NASA’s Chandra space telescope to reveal that the record-breaking gas is contained within an area 450,000 light-years wide that is shining like a spot light.

Astronomers are puzzled because the gas is many times hotter than any observed in galaxies before. By comparison, the centre of the sun is burning at “only” 15 million degrees C.

Their best bet to explain the gas’s searing temperatures is that the galaxies collided violently with another swarm of galaxies at a speed of 2,500 miles per second.

Assistant Professor Naomi Ota of the Tokyo University of Science said: “This is a terrible event. These collisions of galaxy clusters are the most violent celestial events in terms of energy since the Big Bang.” Read more of her report here.

Spectacular images of galaxies colliding have been collected by Hubble. And one particularly impressive cosmic pile-up was captured by Chandra and the giant Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Hawaii.

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