What’s the brightest thing in the universe?

Find out what space phenomenon shines the brightest right here.



The most luminous emitters of electromagnetism in the cosmos are often said to be gamma-ray bursts, which are bursts of energy that last from several milliseconds to several minutes and are released when a supermassive star goes supernova. They’re so bright that they can release more energy in ten seconds than the Sun will in its 10 billion-year lifetime.

Aside from gamma-ray bursts, the other brightest objects in the universe are quasars. These are the areas directly around a black hole where stars, gas and light are being pulled inwards. It is estimated that some quasars emit more light than 100 galaxies.

Image courtesy of ESO / M. Kornmesser.

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