Astronomers discover a reservoir of water floating in space that is equivalent to 140 billion times all the water in Earth's ocean

The largest reservoir of water in the universe, 4,000 times larger than that of the Milky Way, is hidden inside a distant supermassive black hole. It is equivalent to 140 billion oceans.

Two astronomical research teams found this amount of water 12 billion light years away, where it is distributed over hundreds of light years in the form of vapor.

The gaseous area of a quasar, a compact, dazzling region at the center of a galaxy driven by a black hole, is where the deposit was found. This discovery suggests that water could have been in the universe from the beginning.

Although specialists do not find this surprising, water has never been found so far away. This amount of water must have existed when the universe was only 1.6 billion years old, because the light from the quasar APM 08279+5255 in the Lynx constellation took 12 billion years to reach Earth.

While the other group used the Plateau de Bure interferometer in the French Alps, the first group used the Z-Spec equipment at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory in Hawaii.

By detecting millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths, these sensors make it possible to identify traces of gases in the early universe, as well as large reserves of water vapor.

Researchers were able to determine the enormous size of the deposit thanks to the discovery of numerous spectral signatures of water in the quasar.


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