A new study was published in The Astrophysical Journal, revealing a quasar (P352-15) that emitted radio signals coming from a point in time when the universe was not older than one billion years old. According to scientists, this is the brightest radio wave to have ever reached Earth, which is particularly surprising, since it is coming from a celestial object that is located so far away.
What is so special about this quasar?
Based on these new findings, secrets of the formation of the first galaxies might be uncovered, so this discovery plays a significant role in the scientific world. A quasar is a galaxy that has a supermassive black hole at its center and P352-15 specifically is 13 billion light-years away from our planet. The radiation coming from the jets of this far-away region can be detected as radio signals by the telescopes.
Astronomers believe that the black hole at the core of this quasar is a few billion times larger than our sun. Because of this massive black hole, any close-by material is being drawn in by its strong gravitational pull. This leads to the formation of a rotating disk around the immense object, which emits jets of particles moving outward at speeds that are going near that of light. Ultimately, these jets give off light and radio waves which make it to Earth.
The unique quasar can help study the earliest galaxies in the universe
In the opinion of Eduardo Bañados, from the Carnegie Institution for Science in Pasadena, California, P352-15 emitted the brightest radio signal from the beginnings of the Universe. Researchers think that the brightness of the quasar, as well as its distance, makes it a rare object to be studied in order to unravel secrets about the first galaxies in the universe.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca