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Latest Quasar Stories

8a90643cf6888275ab6c96410e9e1eda
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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

2010-05-26 11:50:00

WASHINGTON, May 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) 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...

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2010-05-25 14:01:50

Previous galaxy merger is likely cause A team of astronomy researchers at Florida Institute of Technology and Rochester Institute of Technology in the United States and University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, find that the supermassive black hole (SMBH) at the center of the most massive local galaxy (M87) is not where it was expected. Their research, conducted using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), concludes that the SMBH in M87 is displaced from the galaxy center. The most likely cause...

537c4f26498c8187bc3b6e2898b763fd1
2010-05-25 08:50:00

For over 10 years, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has repeatedly observed the Andromeda Galaxy for a combined total of nearly one million seconds. This unique data set has given astronomers an unprecedented view of the nearest supermassive black hole outside our own Galaxy. Astronomers think that most galaxies - including the Milky Way - contain giant black holes at their cores that are millions of times more massive than the Sun. At a distance of just under 3 million light years from...

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2010-04-14 08:35:00

Astronomers investigating why the cosmic background radiation is much brighter at radio wavelengths than expected have identified a potential culprit: fast spinning black holes early in the galaxy formation process. The results will be presented by Professor Andy Lawrence at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in Glasgow on Wednesday April 14th. Last July, US astronomers announced surprising results from a high-altitude balloon experiment called ARCADE-2, which had made careful measurements of...

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2010-04-14 08:28:59

Radio astronomers at the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory have discovered a strange new object in a nearby galaxy. The object, which appeared very suddenly in radio wavelengths and shows no signs of going away, does not appear to be like anything that has been seen in the Milky Way.  Dr Tom Muxlow will present the discovery at the National Astronomy Meeting in Glasgow on Wednesday April 14th. The galaxy, known as M82, is 10 million light years away and is a stellar...

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2010-03-25 14:11:54

Supermassive black holes found at the centers of distant galaxies undergo huge growth spurts as a result of galactic collisions, according to a new study by astronomers at Yale University and the University of Hawaii. Their findings appear in the March 25 edition of Science Express. As massive, gas-rich galaxies in the distant universe collide, the central black hole feeds on gas that is funneled to the center of the merger. "As a result of the violent, messy collision, the black hole also...


Latest Quasar Reference Libraries

8_2c71772f2c3a31994d5208d4518632495
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...

6_8304cd2002012eb0093845e374a1b9612
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...

6_c01dfaf162273609e19b80ea97407cf52
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...

6_c74ddf89e1e986e7de2e5e2451d6b60b2
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...

6_fec4ca0e97baf4ce0833c41b1e6be5e62
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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