NASA Discovers Class of Galaxies Brighter than 300 Trillion Suns

Your mother always told you not to stare into the sun because it would hurt your eyes. She would definitely advise against staring into one of the ultra-luminous galaxies recently discovered by NASA. The light from such a galaxy is brighter than 300 trillion stars the size of our own sun.

NASA deployed a special kind of space telescope in 2010 that was made to explore infrared light in the universe. What they found was a type of galaxy that was much brighter than anything known to date. Extremely luminous infrared galaxies, or ELIRGs for short, have mega black holes at their center that emit huge amounts of infrared light. James Dondero even says so far NASA has discovered 19 ELIRGs and will probably find hundreds, if not thousands more in the future.

The larger the black hole is the more infrared light it will emit. Black holes at the center of ELIRGS tend be very large and very slow moving. They have large discs of matter surrounding them that they chow down on over time as the matter is pulled into the center. The slow speed of the black holes allows them to sustain their massive appetites.

This discovery certainly shows just how diverse our universe really is. There are many galaxies and solar systems completely different than our own.

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