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Hubble spots double quasars in merging galaxies

Dragon
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Hubble spots double quasars in merging galaxies Empty Hubble spots double quasars in merging galaxies

Post by Dragon Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:06 am

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is "seeing double." Peering back 10 billion years into the universe's past, Hubble astronomers found a pair of quasars that are so close to each other they look like a single object in ground-based telescopic photos, but not in Hubble's crisp view.

The researchers believe the quasars are very close to each other because they reside in the cores of two merging galaxies.

The team went on to win the "daily double" by finding yet another quasar pair in another colliding galaxy duo.


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Hubble spots double quasars in merging galaxies 334pu7m
Dragon
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Hubble spots double quasars in merging galaxies Empty Re: Hubble spots double quasars in merging galaxies

Post by Dragon Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:09 am

Hubble spots double quasars in merging galaxies Hubblespotsd
. Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. Olmsted (STScI)

This artist's conception shows the brilliant light of two quasars residing in the cores of two galaxies that are in the chaotic process of merging. The gravitational tug-of-war between the two galaxies stretches them, forming long tidal tails and igniting a firestorm of starbirth.

Quasars are brilliant beacons of intense light from the centers of distant galaxies. They are powered by supermassive black holes voraciously feeding on infalling matter. This feeding frenzy unleashes a torrent of radiation that can outshine the collective light of billions of stars in the host galaxy.

In a few tens of millions of years, the black holes and their galaxies will merge, and so will the quasar pair, forming an even more massive black hole.

A similar sequence of events will happen a few billion years from now when our Milky Way galaxy merges with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy.


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Hubble spots double quasars in merging galaxies 334pu7m
Dragon
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Post by Dragon Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:11 am

Hubble spots double quasars in merging galaxies 1-hubblespotsd
Credit: NASA, ESA, H. Hwang and N. Zakamska (Johns Hopkins University), and Y. Shen (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

These two Hubble Space Telescope images reveal two pairs of quasars that existed 10 billion years ago and reside at the hearts of merging galaxies.

Each of the four quasars resides in a host galaxy. These galaxies, however, cannot be seen because they are too faint, even for Hubble. The quasars within each pair are only about 10,000 light-years apart -- the closest ever seen at this cosmic epoch.

Quasars are brilliant beacons of intense light from the centers of distant galaxies that can outshine their entire galaxies. They are powered by supermassive black holes voraciously feeding on infalling matter, unleashing a torrent of radiation.

The quasar pair in the left-hand image is catalogued as J0749+2255 and the pair on the right as J0841+4825. The two pairs of host galaxies inhabited by each double quasar will eventually merge. The quasars will then tightly orbit each other until they eventually spiral together and coalesce, resulting in an even more massive, but solitary black hole.

The image for J0749+2255 was taken Jan. 5, 2020. The J0841+4825 snapshot was taken Nov. 30, 2019. Both images were taken in visible light with Wide Field Camera 3.


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Hubble spots double quasars in merging galaxies 334pu7m
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Hubble spots double quasars in merging galaxies Empty Re: Hubble spots double quasars in merging galaxies

Post by Dragon Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:12 am



The Flickering Light of Dual Quasars

This simulation shows the brilliant, flickering light from a pair of quasars. Astronomers in a recent study deduced that the blinking light is a telltale sign of the presence of two quasars and not a single object.

Quasars reside at the hearts of galaxies. They are ignited by monster black holes voraciously feeding on infalling matter, unleashing a torrent of radiation. A quasar’s light fluctuates in brightness based on how much material its black hole is gobbling up at the time.

This quasar pair is pouring out light because their galaxies are in the process of merging, which provides plenty of fuel for their hungry black holes. The quasars appear close together because they, too, are in the process of merging, along with their galaxies.


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Hubble spots double quasars in merging galaxies 334pu7m

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Hubble spots double quasars in merging galaxies Empty Re: Hubble spots double quasars in merging galaxies

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