Latest Quasar Stories

2011-01-10 15:00:11

One of the strangest space objects ever seen is being scrutinized by the penetrating vision of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. A mysterious, glowing green blob of gas is floating in space near a spiral galaxy. Hubble uncovered delicate filaments of gas and a pocket of young star clusters in the giant object, which is the size of our Milky Way galaxy. The Hubble revelations are the latest finds in an ongoing probe of Hanny's Voorwerp (Hanny's Object in Dutch), named for Hanny van Arkel, the...

2010-12-10 10:35:00

Spearheaded by the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory and funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, the e-MERLIN telescope will allow astronomers to address key questions relating to the origin and evolution of galaxies, stars and planets. To demonstrate its capabilities, University of Manchester astronomers turned the new telescope array toward the "Double Quasar". This enigmatic object, first discovered by Jodrell Bank, is a famous example of Einstein's...

2010-11-04 11:10:00

Suzanne Taylor Muzzin, Yale University While sorting through hundreds of galaxy images as part of the Galaxy Zoo citizen science project two years ago, Dutch schoolteacher and volunteer astronomer Hanny van Arkel stumbled upon a strange-looking object that baffled professional astronomers. Two years later, a team led by Yale University researchers has discovered that the unique object represents a snapshot in time that reveals surprising clues about the life cycle of black holes. In a new...

2010-11-02 10:51:41

A team of astronomers has found evidence that the universe may have gone through a warming trend early in its history. They measured the temperature of the gas that lies in between galaxies, and found a clear indication that it had increased steadily over the period from when the universe was one tenth to one quarter of its current age. This cosmic climate change is most likely caused by the huge amount of energy output from young, active galaxies during this epoch. The researchers publish...

2010-10-20 12:45:00

A European team of astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) has measured the distance to the most remote galaxy so far. By carefully analyzing the very faint glow of the galaxy they have found that they are seeing it when the Universe was only about 600 million years old (a redshift of 8.6). These are the first confirmed observations of a galaxy whose light is clearing the opaque hydrogen fog that filled the cosmos at this early time. The results were presented at an online press...

2010-10-07 12:53:00

If you think global warming is bad, 11 billion years ago the entire universe underwent, well, universal warming. The consequence was that fierce blasts of radiation from voracious black holes stunted the growth of some small galaxies for a stretch of 500 million years. This is the conclusion of a team of astronomers who used the new capabilities of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to probe the invisible, remote universe. Using the newly installed Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) they have...

2010-07-16 07:58:07

Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Ecole Polytechnique F©d©rale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have discovered the first known case of a distant galaxy being magnified by a quasar acting as a gravitational lens. The discovery, based in part on observations done at the W. M. Keck Observatory on Hawaii's Mauna Kea, is being published July 16 in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. Quasars, which are extraordinary luminous objects in the distant...

2010-07-07 13:35:00

Combining observations made with ESO's Very Large Telescope and NASA's Chandra X-ray telescope, astronomers have uncovered the most powerful pair of jets ever seen from a stellar black hole. This object, also known as a microquasar, blows a huge bubble of hot gas, 1000 light-years across, twice as large and tens of times more powerful than other known microquasars. The discovery is reported this week in the journal Nature. "We have been astonished by how much energy is injected into the gas...

2010-06-24 13:05:00

Using two of the world's largest telescopes, an international team of astronomers have found evidence of a collision between galaxies driving intense activity in a highly luminous quasar. The scientists, led by Montserrat Villar Martin of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucía-CSIC in Spain, used the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile and the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) on La Palma in the Canary Islands, to study activity from the quasar SDSS J0123+00. They publish...

2010-05-26 12:50:00

Data from an ongoing survey by NASA's Swift satellite have helped astronomers solve a decades-long mystery about why a small percentage of black holes emit vast amounts of energy. Only about one percent of supermassive black holes exhibit this behavior. The new findings confirm that black holes "light up" when galaxies collide, and the data may offer insight into the future behavior of the black hole in our own Milky Way galaxy. The study will appear in the June 20 issue of The Astrophysical...

Latest Quasar Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:44

Large-Scale Structure of the Cosmos -- Stars are organised into galaxies which in turn appear to form clusters and superclusters, separated by voids. Prior to 1989 it was commonly assumed that the superclusters were the largest structures in existence, and that they were distributed more-or-less uniformly throughout the universe in every direction. However, in 1989, Margaret Geller and John Huchra discovered the "Great Wall", a sheet of galaxies more than 500 million light years long...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Supermassive Black Hole -- A Supermassive black hole is a black hole with a mass in the range of millions or billions solar masses. A supermassive black hole has some interesting properties differing from his low-mass cousins: -- The average density of a supermassive black hole can be very low, and actually can be lower than water's density. This happens because the black hole diameter increases linearly with mass, and consequently density drops much faster. -- Strong tidal...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Redshift -- Redshift is the phenomenon that the frequency of light when observed, under certain circumstances, can be lower than the frequency of light when it was emitted at the source. This usually occurs when the source moves away from the observer, as in the Doppler effect. More specifically, the term redshift is used for the observation that the spectrum of light emitted by distant galaxies is shifted to lower frequencies (towards the red end of the spectrum, hence the name) when...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Microquasar -- Microquasars are smaller cousins of quasars. They are named after quasars, as they have some common characteristics: strong and variable radio emission often seen as radio jets, and an accretion disk surrounding a black hole. In quasars, the black hole is supermassive (millions of solar masses) as in microquasars, the black hole mass is a few solar masses. In microquasars, the accreted mass comes from a normal star and the accretion disk is very luminous in optical regions...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Gravitational Lens -- A gravitational lens is formed when the light from a very distant, bright object (such as a quasar) is "bent" around a massive object (such as a massive galaxy) between the bright object and the viewer. The process is known as gravitational lensing, and was one of the predictions made by Einstein's general relativity. Description In a gravitational lens, the gravity from the massive object bends light as a lens might. As a result, the path of the light from a...

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Word of the Day
  • A rich embroidered or brocaded silk fabric woven originally with a warp of gold thread.
'Baudekin' seems to be an alternative form of 'baldachin,' from the Italian 'Baldacco,' Baghdad, the city where the material was made.