Hubble Space Telescope's main camera stops working
13 January, 2019, 20:10 | Author: Darnell Taylor
The Hubble Telescope has discovered the brightest quasar ever seen in the early universe, which has the brightness of about 600-trillion suns. "That object had been sitting in the database for a few years now, but no one had looked at that part of the sky for quasars, because we usually don't".
Lead author Xiaohui Fan, of the University of Arizona, said he did not expect to find many quasars brighter than this in the whole universe.
Pacucci and his colleagues said the super-bright quasar, catalogued as J043947.08+163415.7, could hold the record for being the brightest in the early universe for quite some time.
'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'.
'Prior to this, no stars, quasars, or galaxies had been formed, until objects like this appeared like candles in the dark'.
According to the new observations, the black hole powering this quasar is several hundred million times the mass of the sun.
NASA astronaut Andrew Feustel, perched on the end of the shuttle Atlantis' robotic arm, helps to install the Wide Field Camera 3 during 2009 spacewalk to perform work on the Hubble Space Telescope. Their brightness is believed to come from the hot material that falls into the black hole.
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Researchers announced its discovery on January 9 at the American Astronomical Society's winter meeting in Seattle.
Prof Fan said: "If this galaxy were much brighter, we wouldn't have been able to differentiate it from the quasar".
The data shows not only that the supermassive black hole is accreting matter to itself at an extremely high rate, but also that the quasar may be producing up to 10,000 stars per year, scientists said.
Triangulum is perfectly positioned for astronomers to study and compare to both our own Milky Way galaxy and one of our other neighbors, Andromeda, as it faces directly towards us, showcasing its near-perfect distribution of stars along its well-defined spiral structure. This gravitational lensing, which occurs thanks to Einstein's theory of general relativity, magnifies the brightness of the distant quasar, thereby making it visible to astronomers.
Data will now be gathered on the quasar with the use of the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope to try to identify its chemical composition and temperatures of intergalactic gas in the early universe.
Tom Brown, the Hubble mission head at the Space Telescope Science Institute, said teams are busy troubleshooting the issue and a reboot to the system might be an option as a fix.
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