Despite its brightness Hubble was only able to spot the quasar with the help of strong gravitational lensing caused by a dim galaxy between the quasar and the Earth.
Lead author Xiaohui Fan, from the University of Arizona, said he did not expect to find many quasars brighter than this in the entire universe.
"That object had been sitting in the database for a few years now, but no one had looked at that part of the sky for quasars, because we usually don't". Astronomers generally avoid looking for quasars in this region, because the abundance of stars and dust there drown out the faint quasar light.
"Quasar" is short for quasi-stellar radio source, and describes bright centres of galaxies.
'Prior to this, no stars, quasars, or galaxies had been formed, until objects like this appeared like candles in the dark'. For instance, despite searching for over a decade, astronomers have found only two quasars located more than 13 billion light-years away, Pentericci told Live Science.
'We don't expect to find many quasars brighter than that in the whole observable universe'. The astronomers next analyzed data showing the individual wavelengths emitted by the quasar.
The galaxy bent the light from the quasar making it appear three times as large and 50 times as bright as it would have been without the effect of gravitational lensing, astronomers said.
The old, trusty telescope also suffered a setback in early October previous year, when one of its gyroscopes span out of control. The recorded image shows the quasar as it looked 12.8 billion years ago - only about 1 billion years after the big bang. Both the foreground galaxy and the quasar is spotted by the Hubble SpaceTelescope. That's over 150 times larger than the black hole at the center of the Milky Way.
Credit: NASA, ESA, Xiaohui Fan (University of Arizona) The spectroscopic data also allowed the researchers to estimate the mass of the quasar's central supermassive black hole; they calculated it at around 700 million times that of the sun.
Astronomers have discovered the brightest object in the Universe and it dates back to nearly the beginning of time.