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Posts Tagged ‘QUASAR

Astronomers Find Largest, Most Distant Reservoir of Water

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This artist's concept illustrates a quasar, or feeding black hole, similar to APM 08279+5255, where astronomers discovered huge amounts of water vapor. Gas and dust likely form a torus around the central black hole, with clouds of charged gas above and below. X-rays emerge from the very central region, while thermal infrared radiation is emitted by dust throughout most of the torus. While this figure shows the quasar's torus approximately edge-on, the torus around APM 08279+5255 is likely positioned face-on from our point of view.

Two teams of astronomers have discovered the largest and farthest reservoir of water ever detected in the universe. The water, equivalent to 140 trillion times all the water in the world’s ocean, surrounds a huge, feeding black hole, called a quasar, more than 12 billion light-years away.

“The environment around this quasar is very unique in that it’s producing this huge mass of water,” said Matt Bradford, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “It’s another demonstration that water is pervasive throughout the universe, even at the very earliest times.” Bradford leads one of the teams that made the discovery. His team’s research is partially funded by NASA and appears in the Astrophysical Journal Letters…… Read the rest of this entry »

Written by physicsgg

July 22, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Posted in ASTRONOMY

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Movement of Black Holes Powers Quasars, the Universe’s Brightest Lights

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Jets of streaming radiation expelled by the central black hole of a massive spiral galaxy light up this composite image of Centaurus A. The jets emanating from Cen A are over a million light-years long.

Whether on their own or orbiting as a pair, black holes don’t typically sit still. Not only do they spin, they can also move laterally across their host galaxy. And according to astrophysicists at Brigham Young University, both types of movement power massive jets of energy known as quasars.

The study, which appears in the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to compute what may fuel some of the brightest persistent lights in the universe….. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by physicsgg

July 21, 2011 at 9:21 am

Posted in ASTRONOMY, COSMOLOGY

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Five-Year Search leads to Discovery of the Most Distant Known Quasar Powered by a Black Hole Two Billion Times Mass of the Sun

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A team of astronomers has discovered the most distant quasar to date — a development that could help further our understanding of the universe when it was still in its infancy following the Big Bang.

This brilliant and rare beacon, powered by a black hole with a mass two billion times that of the Sun, is by far the brightest object yet found from a time when the Universe was less than 800 million years old — just a fraction of its current age.

The object that has been found, named ULAS J1120+0641, is around 100 million years younger than the previously known most distant quasar. It lies at a redshift of 7.1 which corresponds to looking back in time to a Universe that was only 770 million years old, only five per cent of its current age. Prior to this discovery, the most distant quasar known has a redshift of 6.4, the equivalent of a Universe that was 870 million years old…… Read the rest of this entry »

Written by physicsgg

June 30, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Posted in ASTRONOMY

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