Illustration for article titled Even Teenage Quasars Are a Hot Mess

Human teenagers don’t have the best rep for being stable, rational individuals. And so too with quasi-stellar objects in their formative years, which scientists are now calling “all messed up”.


The image above, a composite set taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, have given scientists new insight into how quasars form, and how they can radiate so much light from such a small space. Using the infrared camera on Hubble, researchers captured the beautiful photos above, which tell an interesting story:

The gravitational forces of the merger [of galaxies] rob much of the angular momentum that keeps gas suspended in the disks of the colliding galaxies. As galaxies merge, gravitational forces cause the gas in the disks of the colliding galaxies to fall directly toward the supermassive black hole. The accretion zone around the black hole is so engorged with fuel it converts it into a gusher of radiation that blazes across the universe.



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