Astronomers have used the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope to discover and study in detail what they call the most distant source of known radio emissions. The source is a loud quasar, which is a lustrous body with powerful jets that emit at radio wavelengths. The quasar is so distant it took 13 billion years for light to reach Earth.
Scholars We are excited Because they believe this discovery could help astronomers understand the early universe. Quasars are extremely bright objects at the center of some galaxies powered by supermassive black holes. When a black hole consumes surrounding gas, energy is released, allowing astronomers to observe objects over vast distances.
The quasar is called P172 + 18, and with its light taking about 13 billion years to reach Earth, astronomers view it as it was when the universe was about 780 million years old. It appears to astronomers that more distant quasars have been discovered in the past, but this is the first in which astronomers have been able to recognize the signatures of radio planes and quasars from very early in the universe. Only about 10 percent of quasars are classified as loud radio jets with jets that shine brightly at the radio frequencies.
P172 + 18 is powered by a black hole about 300 million times larger than the Sun that eats gas at a very high rate. Researchers say the mass is growing at one of the highest rates they have ever observed. Astronomers believe there is a link between the rapid growth of a supermassive black hole and the powerful radio jets produced by the quasar.
The radio jets are thought to distribute the gas around the black hole, which increases the rate at which the gas falls into the black hole. Researchers believe that studying radio bright quasars could elicit information about how black holes in the early universe grew to a very massive size soon after the Big Bang.