14 June 2024
Quasar molecular outflow seen in cosmic infancy

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Quasar molecular outflow spotted by ALMA when the universe was less than a billion years old. Theoretical predictions have been confirmed with the discovery of an outflow of molecular gas from a quasar when the universe was less than a billion years old.

Quasar-Driven Molecular Outflow and Star Formation in the Early Universe

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1. What are quasars, and how do they impact galaxy formation?

Quasars are immensely powerful celestial objects fueled by supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies. Their energy output can outshine entire galaxies, and they play a significant role in galaxy formation by regulating star formation within their host galaxies.

2. How do quasars influence star formation?

Quasars can generate powerful outflows of molecular gas, which is the primary raw material for star formation. These outflows, like cosmic winds, can expel molecular gas from galaxies, effectively quenching the formation of new stars.

3. How did researchers confirm the role of quasars in suppressing star formation?

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), researchers employed a novel technique to detect the molecular gas outflow from a quasar-host galaxy named J2054-0005. By observing the absorption of radiation from the quasar by the outflowing gas, they confirmed the presence of the outflow and its impact on star formation.

4. What is the significance of this discovery?

This discovery provided the first concrete evidence of powerful molecular gas outflows originating from quasar-host galaxies in the early universe. It confirmed theoretical predictions and shed light on the significant role quasars play in shaping the evolution of galaxies.

5. How does this research contribute to our understanding of the early universe?

This study has opened new avenues for exploring the early universe and the role of quasars in shaping galaxy formation. By unveiling the secrets of molecular gas outflows, researchers have gained a deeper understanding of the complex interplay between quasars and their host galaxies, providing valuable insights into the intricate mechanisms that govern the evolution of the cosmos.

Links to additional Resources:

1. https://www.eso.org 2. https://www.almaobservatory.org 3. https://www.nasa.gov

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Quasar, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), Star formation

A quasar ( KWAY-zar) is an extremely luminous active galactic nucleus (AGN). It is sometimes known as a quasi-stellar object, abbreviated QSO. The emission from an AGN is powered by a supermassive black hole with a mass ranging from millions to tens of billions of solar masses, surrounded by a...
Read more: Quasar

Atacama Large Millimeter Array
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is an astronomical interferometer of 66 radio telescopes in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, which observe electromagnetic radiation at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths. The array has been constructed on the 5,000 m (16,000 ft) elevation Chajnantor plateau – near the Llano de Chajnantor...
Read more: Atacama Large Millimeter Array

Star formation
Star formation is the process by which dense regions within molecular clouds in interstellar space, sometimes referred to as "stellar nurseries" or "star-forming regions", collapse and form stars. As a branch of astronomy, star formation includes the study of the interstellar medium (ISM) and giant molecular clouds (GMC) as precursors...
Read more: Star formation

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