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Robin Leigh Anderson
Robin Leigh Anderson • 1 year ago

A Primordial Quasar - The nearest quasars are now known to be supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies. Gas and dust that falls toward a quasar glows brightly, sometimes outglowing the entire home galaxy. The quasars that formed in the first billion years of the universe are more mysterious, though, with even the nature of the surrounding gas still unknown.

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A supermassive black hole lies at the center of this turbulent mix of multimillion-degree gas, dust, and cold gas in the galaxy Centaurus A.

A Forming Black Hole

The most popular hypothesis holds that the jet is created by energetic gas swirling around a massive black hole at the galaxy's center. The result is a 5000 light-year long blowtorch where electrons are ejected outward at near light-speed, emitting eerily blue light during a magnetic spiral. M87 is a giant elliptical galaxy residing only 50 million light-years away in the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies. The faint dots of light surrounding M87's center are large ancient globular clusters of stars.

Astronomers have discovered a huge formation of 73 quasars representing the largest structure yet observed in the universe