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Posts Tagged ‘quasar’

Farthest, Largest Water Mass In Universe Discovered

July 23, 2011 2 comments

nanopatentsandinnovations

An international team of astronomers led by the California Institute of Technology and involving the University of Colorado Boulder has discovered the largest and farthest reservoir of water ever detected in the universe.

Artist’s concept of a quasar, or feeding black hole, similar to APM 08279+5255, where a team of astronomers including CU-Boulder discovered huge amounts of water vapor.
 Illustration courtesy NASA/ESA
The distant quasar is one of the most powerful known objects in the universe and has an energy output of 1,000 trillion suns — about 65,000 times that of the Milky Way galaxy. The quasar’s power comes from matter spiraling into the central Read more…

Scientists discover brightest, earliest quasar

June 30, 2011 Comments off

ap

Since quasars are so luminous, they guide astronomers studying the conditions of the cosmos following the Big Bang, the explosion believed to have created the universe 13.7 billion years ago. Researchers are constantly trying to outdo one another in their quest to see the universe as an infant. The deeper they peer into space, the further back in time they are looking. The previous record holder was a quasar that dated to when the universe was 870 million years old. The new quasar - with the tongue-twisting name ULAS J1120+0641 - was identified in images from a sky survey taken by the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope perched near the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii. The discovery was confirmed by other telescopes. "It's like sifting for gold. You're looking for something shiny," said lead researcher Daniel Mortlock, an astrophysicist at Imperial College in London. In an editorial accompanying the research, Chris Willott of the Canadian Astronomy Data Center called the quasar a "monster" that could upend current theories about the growth of black holes. "The existence of this quasar will be giving some theorists sleepless nights," said Willott, who was not part of the discovery team.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A team of European astronomers, glimpsing back in time to when the universe was just a youngster, says it has detected the most distant and earliest quasar yet.

Light from this brilliant, starlike object took nearly 13 billion years to reach Earth, meaning the quasar existed when the universe was only 770 million years old – a kid by cosmic standards. The discovery ranks as the brightest object ever found.

To scientists’ surprise, the black hole powering this quasar was 2 billion times more massive than the sun. How it grew so bulky so early in the universe’s history is a mystery. Black holes are known to feed on stars, gas and other matter, but their growth was always thought to be slow.

The discovery was reported in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature.

Since quasars are so luminous, they guide astronomers studying the conditions of Read more…

Green Blob in Space

January 15, 2011 1 comment

The Hubble Space Telescope got its first peek at a mysterious giant green blob in outer space and found that it’s strangely alive. The bizarre glowing blob is giving birth to new stars, some only a couple million years old, in remote areas of the universe where stars don’t normally form.

The blob of gas was first discovered by a Dutch school teacher in 2007 and is named Hanny’s Voorwerp (HAN’-nee’s-FOR’-vehrp). Voorwerp is Dutch for object.

NASA released the new Hubble photo Monday at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle.

Parts of the green blob are collapsing and the resulting pressure from that is creating the stars. The stellar nurseries are outside of a normal galaxy, which is usually where stars live.

That makes these “very lonely newborn stars” that are “in the middle of nowhere,” said Bill Keel, the University of Alabama astronomer who examined the blob.

The blob is the size of our own Milky Way galaxy and it is 650 million light years away. Each light year is about 6 trillion miles.

The blob is mostly hydrogen gas swirling from a close encounter of two galaxies and it glows because it is illuminated by a quasar in one of the galaxies. A quasar is a bright object full of energy powered by a black hole. Read more…