A blazar in the early universe

December 22, 2020

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.
-end-
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

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

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Related Supermassive Black Hole Articles from Brightsurf:

Black hole or no black hole: On the outcome of neutron star collisions
A new study lead by GSI scientists and international colleagues investigates black-hole formation in neutron star mergers.

The black hole always chirps twice: New clues deciphering the shape of black holes
A team of gravitational-wave scientists led by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav) reveal that when two black holes collide and merge, the remnant black hole 'chirps' not once, but multiple times, emitting gravitational waves--intense ripples in the fabric space and time--that inform us about its shape.

ESO telescope spots galaxies trapped in the web of a supermassive black hole
With the help of ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have found six galaxies lying around a supermassive black hole when the Universe was less than a billion years old.

Breakthrough in deciphering birth of supermassive black holes
A research team led by Cardiff University scientists say they are closer to understanding how a supermassive black hole (SMBH) is born thanks to a new technique that has enabled them to zoom in on one of these enigmatic cosmic objects in unprecedented detail.

Large simulation finds new origin of supermassive black holes
Computer simulations conducted by astrophysicists at Tohoku University in Japan, have revealed a new theory for the origin of supermassive black holes.

ESO telescope sees star dance around supermassive black hole, proves Einstein right
Observations made with ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) have revealed for the first time that a star orbiting the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way moves just as predicted by Einstein's general theory of relativity.

ALMA resolves gas impacted by young jets from supermassive black hole
Astronomers obtained the first resolved image of disturbed gaseous clouds in a galaxy 11 billion light-years away by using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

Supermassive black holes shortly after the Big Bang: How to seed them
They are billions of times larger than our Sun: how is it possible that supermassive black holes were already present when the Universe was 'just' 800 million years old?

Black hole team discovers path to razor-sharp black hole images
A team of researchers have published new calculations that predict a striking and intricate substructure within black hole images from extreme gravitational light bending.

Going against the flow around a supermassive black hole
At the center of a galaxy called NGC 1068, a supermassive black hole hides within a thick doughnut-shaped cloud of dust and gas.

Read More: Supermassive Black Hole News and Supermassive Black Hole Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.