Sample galaxy 36721

Black holes in the early universe needed a few snacks rather than one giant meal to fuel their quasars and help them grow, a new study shows. Quasars are the brilliant beacons of light that are powered by black holes feasting on captured material, and in the process, heating some of the matter to millions of degrees. The brightest quasars reside in galaxies distorted by collisions with other galaxies. These encounters send lots of gas and dust into the gravitational whirlpool of hungry black holes. Now, however, astronomers are uncovering an underlying population of fainter quasars that thrive in normal-looking spiral galaxies. They are triggered by black holes snacking on such tasty treats as a batch of gas or the occasional small satellite galaxy.

Credit:

NASA, ESA/Hubble, and K. Schawinski (Yale University, USA)

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo1227e
Type:Observation
Release date:27 June 2012, 13:50
Size:600 x 600 px

About the Object

Type:• Early Universe : Galaxy : Activity : AGN : Quasar
• X - Quasars/AGN/Black Hole Images/Videos


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