Astronomers Unveil Largest-Ever Map of Universe’s Active Supermassive Black Holes

March 18, 2024

Astronomers have charted the largest-ever volume of the universe with a new map of active supermassive black holes living at the centers of galaxies. Called quasars, the glowing black holes are, ironically, some of the universe’s brightest objects. The new map logs the location of about 1.3 million quasars in space and time, with the furthest shining bright when the 13.7-billion-year-old universe was only 1.5 billion years old. “It isn’t the catalog with the most quasars, and it isn’t the catalog with the best-quality measurements of quasars, but it is the catalog with the largest total volume of the universe mapped.”Hogg and his colleagues present the map in a newly published paper in the Astrophysical Journal. The paper’s lead author, Kate Storey-Fisher, is a postdoctoral researcher at the Donostia International Physics Center in Spain.

Astronomers have charted the largest-ever volume of the universe with a new map of active supermassive black holes living at the centers of galaxies. Called quasars, the glowing black holes are, ironically, some of the universe’s brightest objects.

The new map logs the location of about 1.3 million quasars in space and time, with the furthest shining bright when the 13.7-billion-year-old universe was only 1.5 billion years old.

“This quasar catalog is different from all previous catalogs in that it gives us a three-dimensional map of the largest-ever volume of the universe,” says map co-creator David Hogg, a senior research scientist at the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Astrophysics in New York City and a professor of physics and data science at New York University. “It isn’t the catalog with the most quasars, and it isn’t the catalog with the best-quality measurements of quasars, but it is the catalog with the largest total volume of the universe mapped.”

Hogg and his colleagues present the map in a newly published paper in the Astrophysical Journal. The paper’s lead author, Kate Storey-Fisher, is a postdoctoral researcher at the Donostia International Physics Center in Spain.

The source of this news is from New York University

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