Galaxies

Blogs about galaxies, singles ones on in clusters

The region of sky where quasar J0529-4351 is located. It was created from images forming part of the Digitized Sky Survey 2 while the inset shows the position of this quasar in the center in an image from the Dark Energy Survey.

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” reports the identification of the brightest and most voracious quasar discovered so far, cataloged as J0529-4351. A team of researchers used various instruments to understand that it wasn’t a nearby star but a primordial quasar we see as it looked over 12 billion years ago.

The researchers estimated that the mass of the supermassive black hole that powers it is about 17 billion times the Sun’s, and it’s devouring materials around it at a very high rate, about the mass of the Sun every day. The study of this record-breaking primordial quasar can help reconstruct the history of the early universe and the processes that led to it becoming what it is today.

Mosaic of the 19 spiral galaxies studied by the PHANGS project

The images of 19 spiral galaxies captured by the James Webb Space Telescope have been released as part of the PHANGS (Physics at High Angular resolution in Nearby GalaxieS) project. These are galaxies up to 65 million light-years away that we see face-on, and this allows to better observe the stars inside them, an optimal situation for a project focused on star formation processes. Webb’s NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) and MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument) instruments were employed to cover the near and mid-infrared resulting in many new details.

LEDA 60847 (Image NASA/ESA/A. Barth (University of California - Irvine)/M. Koss (Eureka Scientific Inc.)/A. Robinson (Rochester Institute of Technology)/Processing: Gladys Kober (NASA/Catholic University of America))

An image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope shows LEDA 60847, a group of interacting galaxies. The largest galaxy has an active galactic nucleus (AGN) with a supermassive black hole surrounded by materials that are heated to the point of generating the electromagnetic emissions behind its luminosity. This galaxy is interacting with its neighbors and in a very long time, they will form a single larger galaxy.

Some examples of the galaxies observed during the Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science (CEERS) survey

An article in publication in “The Astrophysical Journal” reports the results of observations of early galaxies that show strange shapes, decidedly different from the ones we’re used to and compared to bananas and even breadsticks. A team of researchers led by Viraj Pandya of Columbia University used observations conducted with the James Webb Space Telescope as part of the CEERS survey from which they obtained images of galaxies dating back to a period between 600 million and 6 billion years after the Big Bang.

The central area of the Milky Way as seen by the Subaru telescope. Several stars are visible in an area about 0.4 light-years across. The star S0-6 is circled in blue while the area where the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* is located is circled in green.

An article published in the journal “Proceedings of the Japan Academy, Series B, Physical and Biological Sciences” reports a study on the star cataloged as S0-6 which indicates that it formed in another galaxy and only over time reached the center of the Milky Way. Since 2014, a team of researchers led by Shogo Nishiyama of Miyagi University of Education in Japan has been studying various stars that now orbit Sagittarius A*, or simply Sgr A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.