Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Astronomy

Turbulence roils luminous galaxy

The brightest-known galaxy is blasting gas out into space — and providing astronomers with a rare glimpse of how extreme galaxies evolve.

Known as W2246-0526, the galaxy is as bright as 350 trillion Suns and is powered by a supermassive black hole at its heart. A team led by Tanio Díaz-Santos at Diego Portales University in Santiago, Chile, used the high-resolution Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array in Chile to study carbon ions rushing outwards from the galaxy.

The gas races out at speeds of about 2 million kilometres an hour, violently illuminating the surrounding space. W2246-0526 might be spewing out much of its energy, and could become more tame in the future.

Astrophys. J. Lett. 816, L6 (2016)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Turbulence roils luminous galaxy. Nature 529, 440 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/529440c

Download citation

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing