A blazer in the early universe

A blazer in the early universe

Credit: Spingola et al .; Bill Saxton, NRAO / AUI / NSF.

The super-sharp “vision” of the National Science Foundation’s “Very Long Baseline Array” (VLBA) revealed previously unseen details in a jet of material ejected at three-quarters of the speed of light in a galaxy’s core at about 12.8 billion light years Earth. The galaxy, nicknamed PSO J0309 + 27, is a blazer with a jet aimed at the Earth and is the brightest radio-broadcasting blazer ever seen at such a distance. It is also the second brightest blazer that emits X-rays at such a distance.

In this image, the brightest radio broadcast comes from the center of the galaxy, in the lower right. The jet is propelled by the gravitational energy of a supermassive black hole at the core and moves outward, to the upper left. The jet seen here stretches for about 1,600 light-years and shows the structure inside 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% 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 2020. Their analysis of object properties provides support for some theoretical models of why blazers are rare in the early universe. The researchers reported their results in the journal Astronomy and astrophysics.

Astronomers report the farthest blaze ever observed

More information:
C. Spingola et al., Parsec scale properties of the brightest AGN radio with z> 6, Astronomy and astrophysics (2020). DOI: 10.1051 / 0004-6361 / 202039458

Provided by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Citation: A Blazar in the Early Universe (2020, December 22) Retrieved December 23, 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020-12-blazar-early-universe.html

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