This is an artist’s impression of the most luminous galaxy in the universe, the hot dust-obscured galaxy (DOG) W2246-0526, using data from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array. Its extreme brightness – roughly 350 trillion times the Sun’s luminosity – comes from the disc of hot gas spiralling down to the supermassive black hole at its centre. A thick blanket of dust near the galactic centre absorbs the radiation and re-emits it in the infrared, heating and boiling away interstellar gas. A team of researchers led by Tanio Díaz-Santos of the Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago, Chile, used ALMA to track the movements of ionized carbon, revealing turbulent flows of gas moving at around 2 million kilometres per hour. (NRAO/AUI/NSF; D Berry/SkyWorks; ALMA [ESO/NAOJ/NRAO])
This image is published in the April 2016 issue of Astronomy & Geophysics.