Plasma spewing quasar illuminates young universe

Plasma spewing quasar illuminates young universe

Artistic vision of a radio jet spewing out fast-moving material from a quasar formed during the first billion years of the Universe

Scientists were able to find a quasar with the brightest radio emission in the early Universe. This was accomplished thanks to the eruption of a jet with extremely fast-moving material. Quasar appeared in the first billions of years of space. The analysis allows astronomers to better explore the young universe.

Quasars are represented by giant black holes accreting matter in the centers of massive galaxies. The newly discovered quasar PSO J352.4034-15.3373 belongs to a rare rock that not only absorbs matter, but also emits a plasma jet moving at almost light speed. This jet makes the object incredibly bright at frequencies recorded by radio telescopes. Quasars were first noticed more than 50 years ago, but now we know that only 10% of them are powerful radio emitters. The light of an open quasar directs us into the past for 13 billion years. P352-15 is the first quasar with clear evidence of a radio jet, observed during the first billion years of its existence.

The Big Bang launched the Universe in the form of a hot set of extremely energetic particles that expanded rapidly. As they expanded, they cooled and merged into neutral hydrogen gas, which made the space dark before the stars and galaxies appeared. 800 million years after the Big Bang event, the energy released by the first galaxies created neutral hydrogen scattered throughout the space, which led to ionization.

To find a radio emitting quasar at such a great distance is an incredible success. Now his jet will serve as an important calibration tool that will help future projects penetrate closer to the point of the beginning of the Universe.

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