Light from this brilliant, starlike object took nearly 13 billion years to reach Earth, meaning the quasar existed when the universe was only 770 million years old — a kid by cosmic standards. The discovery ranks as the brightest object ever found.
To scientists' surprise, the black hole powering this quasar was 2 billion times more massive than the sun. How it grew so bulky so early in the universe's history is a mystery. Black holes are known to feed on stars, gas and other matter, but their growth was always thought to be slow.
The discovery was reported in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.