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11th Dec 2023

12-billion-year-old body of water discovered floating in space

Nina McLaughlin

A ginormous discovery has been made

Scientists have discovered the largest known body of water in the entire universe just floating off somewhere in space.

The reservoir of water is also the furthest away the substance has ever been found.

It has been estimated that there is 140 trillion times the amount of liquid flying about than there is water in the whole of the Earth’s oceans.

However, don’t think that you will be able to go on a nice day out to see this mysterious space lake anytime soon, as it is a whopping 30 billion trillion miles away.

It is also located in the vicinity of a quasar, which are one of the scariest types of black holes out there.

Scientists saw the quasar flinging water vapour around the black hole across a region of hundreds of light-years. Considering a light-year is around six trillion miles, it’s pretty evident as to why this body of water is more than on the whole of our planet!

The discovery was made by scientists from Caltech, who found that the resevoir came from a time when the universe was 1.6 billion years old. To put that into context, the universe is now nearly 14 billion years old.

 “The environment around this quasar is unique in that it’s producing this huge mass of water,” said Matt Bradford of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

“It’s another demonstration that water is pervasive throughout the universe, even at the very earliest times.”