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A blazar in the early universe

Details revealed in galaxy's jet 12.8 billion light-years from Earth

Date:
December 22, 2020
Source:
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Summary:
Observations with the continent-wide Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) reveal previously unseen details in a jet of material ejected from the core of a galaxy seen as it was when the universe was only about 7% of its current age.
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The supersharp radio "vision" of the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) has revealed previously unseen details in a jet of material ejected at three-quarters the speed of light from the core of a galaxy some 12.8 billion light-years from Earth. The galaxy, dubbed PSO J0309+27, is a blazar, with its jet pointed toward Earth, and is the brightest radio-emitting blazar yet seen at such a distance. It also is the second-brightest X-ray emitting blazar at such a distance.

In this image, the brightest radio emission comes from the galaxy's core, at bottom right. The jet is propelled by the gravitational energy of a supermassive black hole at the core, and moves outward, toward the upper left. The jet seen here extends some 1,600 light-years, and shows structure within it.

At this distance, PSO J0309+27 is seen as it was when the universe was less than a billion years old, or just over 7 percent of its current age.

An international team of astronomers led by Cristiana Spingola of the University of Bologna in Italy, observed the galaxy in April and May of 2020. Their analysis of the object's properties provides support for some theoretical models for why blazars are rare in the early universe. The researchers reported their results in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.


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Materials provided by National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. Spingola, D. Dallacasa, S. Belladitta, A. Caccianiga, M. Giroletti, A. Moretti, M. Orienti. Parsec-scale properties of the radio brightest jetted AGN at z > 6. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 2020; 643: L12 DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/202039458

Cite This Page:

National Radio Astronomy Observatory. "A blazar in the early universe." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 December 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/12/201222132005.htm>.
National Radio Astronomy Observatory. (2020, December 22). A blazar in the early universe. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 23, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/12/201222132005.htm
National Radio Astronomy Observatory. "A blazar in the early universe." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/12/201222132005.htm (accessed June 23, 2024).

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