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Bringing some of the mysteries of the universe a little closer to home.
Quasars are galaxies with massive black holes at their cores. So much energy is being radiated from near the nucleus of a quasar that it is much brighter than the rest of the entire galaxy. Much of that radiation is at radio wavelengths, produced by electrons ejected from the core at speeds very close to that of light, often in narrow, bipolar jets that are hundreds of thousands of light-years long. The fast-moving charged particles can also scatter photons of light, kicking them up in energy into the X-ray range. Even after more than two decades of study, however, there is still no clear conclusion as to the physical mechanism actually responsible for the X-ray emission. In more powerful quasars, it does appear that this scattering process dominates. In lower power jets, however, the emission characteristics suggest that the X-ray emission is dominated by magnetic field effects, not scattering.
Credit: NASA/Chandra VLA and Harris et al.
A Chandra X-ray image of the quasar 3C19.44. The overlayed contours show the radio emission (the dimension 100kpc corresponds to 329,000 light-years; the extremely bright core produces a line of bright pixels as an artifact)
Source / Image Courtesy
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.
Several types of galaxies, known as active galaxies, emit enormous amounts of energy from their central region or nucleus, with the most luminous objects known as quasars. Most scientists argue that quasars contain a central black hole, with a mass of at least several million Suns.
Most scientists argue that quasars contain a central black hole, with a mass of at least several million Suns.
Impressive!!- Several million Suns. Never fails to amaze
Thanks for posting, Owl.
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