The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research has discovered the largest explosion ever observed in the universe since the Big Bang.
The explosion originated from a supermassive black hole at the center of the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster around 390 million light-years from Earth.
Melanie Johnston-Hollitt, professor at the Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, said that they have seen outbursts in the centres of galaxies before, but this one is "really, really massive."
Melanie, who co-authored the paper "Discovery of a giant radio fossil in the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster" further said that the researchers do not know why the explosion is so big.
She also revealed that the explosion happened very slowly, like an explosion in slow motion that took place over hundreds of millions of years.
The researchers used four telescopes scattered throughout the world, including Nasa's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton X-ray space observatory, to make the discovery.
The explosion was so violent that it literally cut a hole in the cluster plasma, the hot gas that surrounds black holes, which has been spotted through X-ray telescope observations.
Simona Giacintucci, from the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC and lead author of the paper, has compared the blast to the 1980 eruption of Mount St Helens – one of the most violent volcanic eruptions in US history.
In statement, Giacintucci said that the difference is that anyone could fit 15 Milky Way galaxies in a row into the crater this eruption punched into the cluster's hot gas.
Nasa scientists confirmed the unprecedented blast.
Co-author Maxim Markevitch from Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center said in a statement that the radio data fit inside the X-rays like a hand in a glove, and this is the clincher that says that an eruption of unprecedented size occurred here.
The team is now looking to make further observations with twice the number of antennas, increasing sensitivity tenfold, according to Melanie.