After finding it with the use of NASA’s WISE system, astronomers have come to the conclusion that the brightest galaxy ever discovered will eventually tear itself apart. The galaxy in question is named W2246-0526 and it has a power equivalent to the output of 350 trillion Sun-sized stars.
According to scientists’ belief, this galaxy is actually a quasar with a central supermassive black hole that constantly consumes matter at high rates. The space between its stars and solar systems is filled by interstellar gas and dust, somewhat obscuring the massive amounts of light generated by the galaxy.
By using ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, researchers were able to discern the motions and speeds of the space dust and gas that travel through the galaxy’s structure. What they found is rather interesting because said interstellar particles travel at speeds of over 311 miles per second, causing a high degree of turbulence to be present in its structure.
The amount of infrared radiation created by this speeding dust directly affects the galaxy. This can be easily seen when nearing the central supermassive black hole, where light is 100 times brighter than the rest of W2246-0526. This type of quasars that get obscured by the luminosity of its gas and dust particles are known as Hot, Dust-Obscured Galaxies, or HOT-DOGS, and are extremely rare, with only 1 in 3,000 being observed by the WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) system.
Because this dust creates infrared radiation only in various pockets around their structure instead of having a normal level throughout the area, HOT-DOGS are extremely unstable. Eventually, once all of this gas gets consumed by the black hole or gets flung out into outer-space, the galaxy will completely lose its obscurity, becoming a normal and traditional quasar.
Once this will eventually happen, scientists will be able to discern the supposed supermassive black hole center, as well as its accretion disc comprised of luminous gas. The reason why this occurs so rarely stems from the fact that only galaxies in their early transformative stage of life undergo this process. It is highly likely that most quasars that we can currently observe have passed through this stage billions and billions of years ago.
Although the brightest galaxy ever discovered will eventually tear itself apart, this will happen only in the far future, without any major impact to us, being over 12.4 billion light years away from Earth. But this does not change the fact that scientists will be able to further expand their knowledge about the variety of different cosmic processes that happen everywhere around us.