- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 29, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A team of European astronomers says it has discovered the most distant and earliest quasar yet.

Quasars are bright, starlike objects powered by giant black holes.

Scientists reporting the find in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature say light from this quasar took nearly 13 billion years to reach Earth, meaning it existed when the universe was only 770 million years old.

The quasar was identified in images from a sky survey taken by the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope perched near the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii. It was then confirmed by other telescopes.

The previous record holder was a quasar that dated to when the universe was 870 million years old.



Nature journal: www.nature.com/nature

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