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Rare Quasar Quartet discovery shocks astronomers

Scientists at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii are astonished by the discovery of four quasars, a rare cosmological occurrence. The quasars are bright objects, and the four were found in close proximity to each other, 10.5 light years away.Quasars

Joseph Hennawi at the Max Planck Institute of Astronomy stated that this is the first time that four black holes have been documented. Though they are black holes, the cosmic objects have bright halos, or it did 10 years ago, when light led to their discovery and headed towards the Earth.

According to astronomers, the light from the cosmic metropolis has been travelling for 10 billion years before reaching Earth, and the images show the region as it was 10 years ago.

“There are several hundred times more galaxies in this region than you would expect to see at these distances,” said astronomer J.Xavier Prochaska, University of California Santa Cruz.

The bright halos around the black holes are known as quasars, and researchers believe that it is formed when matter is sucked into the black hole. Quasars are known to become so bright that it can outshine the galaxy seven hundred times over. However, they have a short lifespan, making it quite difficult to find. The quartet quasar is embedded in a nebula of cool and dense gas.

A quasar comes to life when matter is sucked by gravity of the huge black holes, and they are heated to high temperatures. The high energy leads to an explosion that might also leave jet streaks in space.

At any given time, only one shining quasar will be visible in 1,000 galaxies while there are 100 billion galaxies in the visible universe. The new occurrence is very rare as out of the 5,00,000 documented quasars, only 100 of them are binary. Astronomers discovered the first triple quasar in 2007.

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About Anirudh Madhav

A movie buff, a bookworm, and a compulsive doodler. All posts by Anirudh

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