Sunday, 24 March, 2019

Hubble Space Telescope's main camera stops working

QUASAR A light 600 trillion times brighter than the Sun has reached Earth QUASAR A light 600 trillion times brighter than the Sun has reached Earth
Elijah Vega | 10 January, 2019, 22:26

The Hubble Telescope has discovered the brightest quasar ever seen in the early universe, which has the brightness of about 600-trillion suns.

A quasar is an extremely bright nucleus of an active galaxy.

Astronomers used data from the Nasa/European Space Agency Hubble Space Telescope to find the ancient quasar, which they believe can provide an insight into the birth of galaxies when the Universe was about a billion years old. While the mass of the newfound quasar's black hole means it's large for the early universe, it's not among the biggest, Fan told Live Science.

'This discovery demonstrates that strongly gravitationally lensed quasars do exist despite the fact that we've been looking for over 20 years and not found any others this far back in time'.

According to the data, the quasar may be producing up to 10,000 stars a year and the supermassive black hole at its center is accreting matter at an extremely high rate. The quasar is one of the brightest objects in the early Universe. Both the foreground galaxy and the quasar is spotted by the Hubble SpaceTelescope.

The shining light of the quasar is equivalent to 600 trillion Suns.

.

Less than a billion years after the Big Bang, a supermassive black hole began devouring anything within its gravitational grasp; this triggered a firestorm of star formation around the black hole; a galaxy was being born; a blowtorch of energy blazed across the Universe.

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"Quasar" is short for quasi-stellar radio source, and describes bright centres of galaxies.

One particular beam from J0439+1634 luckily passed near an intervening galaxy whose gravity bent and magnified the light and refocused it in our direction, allowing the twin Gemini telescopes in Hawaii and Chile to probe the quasar in great detail. "We don't expect to find many quasars brighter than that in the whole observable Universe!".

The ageing telescope's wide-field camera could be turned off for a while as NASA employees are unable to fix it because of the indefinite political impasse.

Because the quasar is so far away, NASA was only able to detect it because another galaxy closer to Earth acts as a lens, making the quasar look extra bright. Now they are analyzing a detailed 20-hour spectrum from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, which will allow them to identify the chemical composition and temperatures of intergalactic gas in the early Universe.

"Its properties and its distance make it a prime candidate to investigate the evolution of distant quasars and the role supermassive black holes in their centers had on star formation", added Dr.

The team is also using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, and hopes to also observe the quasar with the upcoming NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope.

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