With the aid of the Hubble Space Telescope, researchers have made yet another exciting discovery: they have observed two gravitationally locked quasars producing a tremendous amount of light inside two merging galaxies.
Astronomers have long been fascinated by the universe’s constant activity of space object mergers and collisions. According to the news release, the quasars were there when the cosmos was only three billion years old.
As they absorb gas, dust, and everything else in their gravitational field, quasars are objects that produce a significant amount of energy. The supermassive black holes that fuel them.
The research that appeared in the Nature journal highlighted the results.
We don’t see many double quasars at this early stage of the cosmos, according to the study’s main author Yu-Ching Chen. This finding is so fascinating because of this.
The study of identifying pairs of quasars is a relatively recent field of study, and contemporary technologically advanced astronomical observatories have made it possible for researchers to identify the regions where active quasars may be found.
According to NASA, there is a lot of evidence that tiny components combine to create larger systems and structures. Similar to this, similar mergers also make up galaxies. Supermassive black hole couples developed inside of two galaxies when they merged.
According to Chen, a PhD student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “Knowing about the progenitor population of black holes will eventually tell us about the emergence of supermassive black holes in the early universe, and how frequent those mergers could be.”
We are just beginning to scratch the surface of the early binary quasar population, according to Xin Liu of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This is what makes this study special. Since we now have a means to recognise twin quasars that are separated by less than the size of a single galaxy, it is really informing us that this population is real.
The sensitivity and precision of Hubble’s images allowed researchers to rule out alternative explanations for what they were seeing, Chen added.
In its image, the Hubble Space Telescope clearly distinguishes between two quasars and a pair of supermassive black holes.
“This twin quasar no longer exists since Hubble looks into the far past. Their host galaxies have probably evolved into a massive elliptical galaxy during the last 10 billion years, which is the case in our own neighborhood, according to Nasa.
“The massive black hole in the adjacent large elliptical galaxy M87 is 6.5 billion times as massive as the Sun. Perhaps during the course of the past billions of years, a galaxy or many galaxy mergers gave rise to this black hole, according to NASA.