The recent discovery was made with the Wide filed Infrared Survey Explorer telescope and according to the scientists who spotted it, the galaxy shines brighter than 300 trillion suns put together.
This makes it the most luminous galaxy NASA has ever discovered.
According to the scientists who discovered it, the galaxy was named WISE J224607.57-052635.0 and belongs to a new class of objects referred to as very luminous infrared galaxies.
NASA believes that its extremely bright light comes from a giant black hole that is inside the galaxy.
The researchers from the space agency said that supermassive black holes are known to attract matter and gas into a disk that surrounds them, which heats the disk to extremely high temperatures that can reach millions of degrees.
This also makes them blast out high energy, visible light, ultraviolet rays and also X-ray light.
The NASA scientists added that the light is eventually absorbed by cocoons of dust that surrounds it, which is why scientists cannot see the galaxy using optical telescopes.
According to the astronomers, when the dust gets heated up, it begins to radiate infrared light, which made it possible for the Survey Explorer telescope to detect the brightest galaxy.
NASA explained that the light coming from the galaxy that hosts the black hole has traveled more than 12.5 billion years to get to us, which means that what the astronomers are seeing is the object from a very distant past.
Back then, the universe was only a tenth of its present age which is 13.8 billion years old now.
The scientists explained that the black hole was back then already billions of times larger than our present sun.
The astronomers detailed their recent discovery of the brightest galaxy in the universe in the Astrophysical Journal.
They also wrote about 19 other highly luminous infrared galaxies in the same study.
The scientists explained that as with the brightest galaxy ever discovered, other galaxies were not spotted earlier because they are very distant from Earth.
Also, another reason that made them very difficult to be discovered was the fact that dust converts the powerful visible light into infrared light.
Chao-Wei Tsa, lead author of the study, explained that:
“One limit to how fast the black hole can consume those falling materials is that the light that the material generates will actually push the material out of the black hole.”
Image Source: vice