NASA’s Hubble spots two pairs of double quasars in merging galaxies

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A pair of merged galaxies, as indicated in an artist rendering.

NASA

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is offering yet more practical images from the universe. According to the findings published last week in the journal Nature Astronomy, it captured two quasars, one from a pair of merged galaxies – and then a second set of discoveries.

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Original images of quasar.

NASA

According to NASA, a quasar is an intense light that comes from the center of the galaxy. It can be so bright that it ejects the galaxy itself and, the space agency says, “is fed on a material that is blistering by a supermassive black hole, acquiring a torrent of radiation.”

U Shen, a lead researcher at the University of Illinois at Urban-Champagne, points out that a rare is a rare condition. “We estimate that in the distant universe, for every 1,000 quasars, there is a double quasar.” Finding two pairs is even more rare.

Researchers say that in both examples, quasars are less than 10,000 light years from each other. Eventually, galaxies will dissolve and form an even larger black hole. Making observations about this process will help scientists better understand galaxy formation and the role of quasars in it.

So far, researchers have found about 100 dual quasars in the merged galaxies.

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