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Black Hole in Search of a Home
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Black Hole in Search of a Home

September 27, 2005
The Quasar without a Home: HE0450-2958

(Left) HST image of the z=0.285 quasar HE0450-2958. No obvious host galaxy centred on the quasar is seen. Only a strongly disturbed and star forming companion galaxy is seen near the top of the image. (Right) Same image shown after applying an efficient image sharpening method known as MCS-deconvolution. In contrast to the usual cases, as the ones shown in ESO PR Photo 28a/05, the quasar is not situated at the centre of an extended host galaxy, but on the edge of a compact structure, whose spectra (see ESO PR Photo 28c/05) show it to be composed of gas ionised by the quasar radiation. This gas may have been captured through a collision with the star-forming galaxy. The star indicated on the figure is a nearby galactic star seen by chance in the field of view.