LONDON               -               Scientists have detected evidence of a colossal explosion in space - five times bigger than anything observed before.

The huge release of energy is thought to have emanated from a supermassive black hole some 390 million light years from Earth.

The eruption is said to have left a giant dent in the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster.

Researchers reported their findings in The Astrophysical Journal.

“I’ve tried to put this explosion into human terms and it’s really, really difficult,” co-author Melanie Johnston-Hollitt told BBC News.

“The best I can do is tell you that if this explosion continued to occur over the 240 million years of the outburst - which it probably didn’t, but anyway - it’d be like setting off 20 billion, billion megaton TNT explosions every thousandth of a second for the entire 240 million years. So that’s incomprehensibly big.