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Quasar HE 1013-2136
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Quasar HE 1013-2136

May 16, 2005
Astronomers have been searching for clear evidence for a connection between gravitational interaction and the quasar phenomenon. However, quasars are very bright objects and their light easily outshines all nearby objects. Any companion galaxies and structural features that may indicate interaction are therefore hard to detect.

While observations with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) have much improved our knowledge of the interaction-activity connection in some relatively nearby quasars, it has been difficult to probe the same phenomenon in more distant quasar environments. Such studies clearly require larger telescopes.

The observations of the quasar HE 1013-2136 presented here result from a new programme that addresses this issue at earlier cosmic epochs. This 17-mag object is seen in the southern constellation Hydra (The Water Snake) and is located at a distance of about 10 billion light years (the redshift is z = 0.785)


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