Quasars: Uncovering a Scientific Mystery

Quasars: Uncovering a Scientific Mystery

Question: Researchers using Hubble Space Telescopes infrared vision have unearthed the mystery behind the early formative years of the brightest objects in the universe, namely quasars. Discuss the implications of this scientific finding. Also provide an overview of quasars.

• Through the use of the Hubble Space Telescopes infrared vision, astronomers have uncovered the mystery behind the early formative years of the most bright objects in the universe, quasars

• The sharp images of Hubble reveal chaotic collision of galaxies fuelling quasars through feeding of supermassive central black holes with gas

• Peak of the quasar activity in the early universe was driven by galaxies colliding and then merging together, scientists have found

• They further observed that quasars are being seen in their “teenage years” when they are growing quickly and messed up

About Quasars and Their Energy Source

• Quasars were discovered during the 1960s and they are a contraction of “quasi stellar object” pouring light on as many as 1 trillion stars from a region of space smaller than the solar system

• The source of light is the gusher of energy emanating from supermassive black holes with the cores of the very distant galaxies

• New images capture the transitional phase in merging galaxies driven towards black holes

• Galaxy collisions are a leading hypothesis of why galaxies start to feed central black holes

• Observations indicate the brightest quasars in the universe live in merging galaxies

• However, the glow of the quasar cancels out the accompanying galaxy’s light and makes the mergers difficult to observe

• Hubble’s sensitivity at near infrared wavelengths of light was used to observe host galaxies through quasars heavily shrouded in dust

• Dust diminishes the visible light of the quasar so the underlying galaxy can be observed

• With the merging of galaxies, gravitational forces direct in the gas in the colliding galaxies disks to fall directly towards the supermassive black home

• Hubble observations explain that the peak of quasar activity in the early universe is spearheaded by galaxies colliding and merging together

• Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 was used to observe 11 quasars from the peak of the star formation era in the universe, 12 billion years back

Facts and Stats
• Quasars give off more energy than a 100 normal galaxies together

• Regardless of their brightness, quasars cannot be seen with an unaided eye due to their massive distance from the earth

• Energy from quasars takes billions of years to reach the atmosphere of the earth

• Most quasars are faint radio emitters and in addition to visible light and radio waves, they also emit ultraviolet rays, infrared waves, gamma rays and x-rays

• Quasars are mostly larger than our entire solar system; a quasar is about 1 kilo parsec in width on an average
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