Black holes

18 of the quasars studied (Image ESO/Borisova et al.)

An article to be published in “The Astrophysical Journal” describes an investigation into the glowing gas clouds around distant quasars. An international team of astronomers led by a group at the ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in Zurich, Switzerland, used the MUSE instrument mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) to look at very distant galaxies that are active, of the type called quasar, and discovered that the gas halos that surround them are more common than expected.

Artistic concept of the Milky Way as a Quasar (Image courtesy Mark A. Garlick/CfA)

An article published in “The Astrophysical Journal” describes a research about the Milky Way that offers a solution to the problem of the missing mass. A team of scientists led by Fabrizio Nicastro, a research associate at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and astrophysicist at the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), used ESA’s XMM-Newton space telescope to discover a kind of gaseous fog that absorbs emissions from distant sources. The existence of such a bubble indicates that some millions of years ago the Milky Way was a quasar.

The galaxy cluster 3C 129 observed by various telescope (Image NRAO, ROSAT satellite; the Two Micron All Sky Survey)

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” is the first produced thanks to a study that includes observations of the Sardinia Radio Telescope (SRT). Its target was a supermassive black hole at the center of an elliptical galaxy about 300 million light years away from Earth that is falling toward the galaxy cluster 3C 129.