Latest Quasar Stories

Quasars Illuminate Swirling Clouds Around Galaxies
2014-01-09 08:49:42

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign A new study of light from quasars has provided astronomers with illuminating insights into the swirling clouds of gas that form stars and galaxies, proving that the clouds can shift and change much more quickly than previously thought. Led by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign astronomy professor Robert J. Brunner and former graduate student Troy Hacker (now with the U.S. Air Force), the astronomers published their findings in the...

One-Percent Accurate Measurement Of Universe Completed By BOSS
2014-01-09 09:02:10

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Researchers from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) announced on Wednesday that their project has measured the scale of the universe to an accuracy of one percent – precise measurements that will help astronomers in their search to determine the true nature of dark energy. “One-percent accuracy in the scale of the universe is the most precise such measurement ever made,” explained principal investigator David...

ALMA Observatory Reveals Black Hole's Eating Habits
2013-10-16 10:12:37

[ Watch the Video: Zooming In On Active Galaxy NGC 1433 ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online New observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in the high-altitude Atacama Desert of Chile have revealed new details about the powerful molecular-gas jets that stream out of supermassive black holes, according to two new studies published on Wednesday in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. The two studies describe the unique behaviors and...

Researchers Explain Why Supermassive Black Holes Eat Less Material Than Expected
2013-08-30 08:51:11

[ Watch the Video: Black Hole On A Diet ] April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A long-standing mystery concerning supermassive black holes (SMBH) at the center of galaxies has been solved by a team of astronomers using NASA’s super-sensitive Chandra X-ray Space Telescope. The team, led by Q. Daniel Wang at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, investigated why these SMBHs have such a low accretion rate, or rather, why they swallow very little of the cosmic gases...

Milky Way Gas Cloud Creates Multiple Images Of Distant Quasar
2013-08-29 03:49:01

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Using the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) radio telescope system, astronomers have for the first time managed to capture an image of a distant quasar split into multiple images due to the effects of a cloud of ionized gas in the Milky Way. While these events were first predicted some four decades ago, the VLBA has managed to obtain the first evidence of their existence. Using the array, the...

Quasar Observed In 6 Separate Light Reflections
2013-08-10 06:17:06

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Part of the educational process for college students majoring in the sciences is to engage in research activities, helping them to experience the challenges and triumphs they will experience in their careers. Because of the learning curve for most research progress, as well as small windows of time in order to complete the projects, undergraduate research experiences are often less-than-exciting. Occasionally, however, a...

Exploring Hidden Milky Way
2013-08-01 08:48:11

John P. Millis, PhD for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Understanding how the Milky Way formed is one of the central scientific questions in astronomy. However, given the scale and complexity of the galaxy, there is a lot to consider. One of the ways researchers have found to tell the story of our galaxy's history is to create a detailed stellar census, analyzing spectra of large numbers of stars. "A star's spectrum is a powerful tool for learning about the star - it tells us key...

Quasar Radiation Influences Galaxy Growth
2013-07-25 05:58:07

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astrophysicists writing in The Astrophysical Journal have shed some new light on the universe's brightest objects - quasars. The team from Dartmouth University published details about discoveries based on 10 quasar observations. They wrote about the power of quasar radiation, which can reach out for many thousands of light years to the limits of the quasar's galaxy. Astrophysicists Ryan Hickox and Kevin Hainline and colleagues used...

Astronomers Catch Distant Galaxy Snacking On Gas
2013-07-04 13:01:16

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers were recently able to catch a distant galaxy in the act of snacking on nearby gas while using the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT). The team wrote in the journal Science about how they were able to make the best direct observational evidence so far supporting the theory that galaxies pull in and devour nearby material to grow and form stars. Scientists have always suspected galaxies grow this...

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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