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A team of European astronomers has used the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope and a host of other telescopes to discover and study the most distant quasar found to date. This brilliant beacon, powered by a black hole with a mass two billion times that of the Sun, is by far the brightest object yet discovered in the early Universe. The results will appear in the June 30, 2011, issue of the journal Nature.
The quasar that has just been found, named ULAS J1120+0641, is seen as it was only 770 million years after the Big Bang (redshift 7.1,). It took 12.9 billion years for its light to reach us. Although more distant objects have been confirmed (such as a gamma-ray burst at redshift 8.2 and a galaxy at redshift 8.6), the newly discovered quasar is hundreds of times brighter than these. Amongst objects bright enough to be studied in detail, this is the most distant by a large margin.
A million light years?
Originally posted by elevenaugust
An enormous X-ray jet extends at least a million light years from the quasar.