It is 12 billion light years from Earth and is a concentration of water vapor around a quasar. Identified by researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology.
ROME - Discovery of the largest water reservoir of the universe. This is a concentration of water vapor around a quasar, or cosmic object very primitive and similar to a star, and contains a quantity of water equal to 140 trillion that found in the oceans of our planet. It is 12 billion light years from Earth, and is the most distant ever observed. The discovery, published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters, was made by a group of astronomers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of NASA and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
"The environment surrounding this quasar is unique for the huge amount of water it produces," said Matt Bradford, JPL. "And 'further evidence - he added - as the water pervade the entire universe and how it was also nele early stages of its formation."
Fueling the activity of quasars, indicated by the abbreviation APM 08279 +5255, is a huge black hole mass by 20 billion times that of the Sun and produces an amount of energy equal to that generated by billions of billions of stars like the Sun
That water could be present even in the early history of the universe, the researchers have long suspected, but only now have the proof. So far, for example, it was known that water is abundant in the Milky Way, where, however, is for the most
frozen and the state in an amount 4,000 times lower than in quasars discovered. According to the scientists who made the discovery, the huge amount of water vapor, which extends for more than five million billion kilometers around the quasar, is generated by hot gas produced by the quasar itself.
The Bedford Group has discovered reserves of water with the telescope at Mauna Kea Observatory, Hawaii, and the Caltech group, led by Darius Lis, has used the Interferometer Plateau de Ox, in the French Alps.