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A merging of galaxies creates a binary quasar

New images of a binary quasar from the Magellan Telescope of the Carnegie Institution in Chile show two galaxies with "tails" created by the gravitational forces between them

The quasar pair SDSS_J1254+0846
The quasar pair SDSS_J1254+0846

Astronomers have found the first clear evidence of a binary quasar inside a pair of galaxies that are in the process of merging. Quasars are the luminous cores of galaxies surrounding a supermassive black hole, and binary quasars are pairs of quasars bound together by gravity. In the past, scientists believed that binary quasars, like other quasars, were the product of galaxy mergers. But so far, binary quasars have not been detected in the activities of galaxy mergers.

Now new images of a binary quasar from the Magellan Telescope of the Carnegie Institution in Chile show two galaxies with "tails" created by the gravitational forces between them.

"This is the first case where you can see two separate galaxies, both with quasars, interacting," says John Molchai, an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution.

Most, if not all, large galaxies, such as our own Milky Way galaxy, harbor a supermassive black hole at their center. Since galaxies usually interact or merge, astronomers hypothesized that supermassive black binaries are common, especially in the early history of the universe. Black holes can only be detected as growing quasars that swallow matter, an activity that causes an enormous amount of energy to be emitted. A leading theory in the field claims that merging galaxies causes a merger that creates the quasars in both galaxies. Since most of these mergers apparently took place in the distant past, binary quasars together with their galaxies are very far away and therefore difficult to detect with most telescopes.

The binary quasar, known as SDSS J1254+0846, was first discovered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which is a large-scale astronomical survey of galaxies and more than 120,000 quasars. Additional observations made by Paul Green of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory indicated that the object is likely a binary quasar formed during the merger of the galaxy. Molchi of Carnegie then used the Magellan Telescope to obtain more detailed and accurate images of the spectroscopy of the merging galaxies.

"Just because you can see two galaxies that are close to each other in the sky, it does not mean that they are merging," says Molchi. "But with the help of the images from Magellan, we can actually see the gravitational tails, one from each galaxy, which indicate that the galaxies are probably interacting and are in the process of merging."

Thomas Cox, of the Carnegie Institution, verified the conclusions using computer simulations of the merger. When the galaxies in the model merged, they exhibited properties similar to those observed in Magellan images. "The model confirms the origin of the binary quasar system," says Cox. "It also implies that these types of galaxy merging interactions are a key component in the growth of black holes and the formation of quasars throughout the universe."

Carnegie Institution announcement

57 תגובות

  1. Michael, a ghost repeatedly said that he only asked you a question and you repeatedly claimed that he was presenting a fact, you should apologize...

  2. Michael
    I have no doubt that you have knowledge of the subjects and I thought you would detail what in your opinion does not make sense and why
    I said and since you say that nothing makes sense then I really don't expect an answer from you,
    Because as far as I'm concerned, you just didn't understand my question.
    In any case, this is my opinion and I end the debate there.

  3. Ghost:
    As I said and as you could prove - I know quite a bit about the subject.
    I don't see any point in rewording your words in a way that would explain anything because I don't see any kernel of a logical idea in them.
    I repeat that as a general rule it is simply wrong to even try to come up with ideas on topics that you have no understanding of and it is certainly not fair to ask people who understand the topic to make the ideas of people who do not understand the topic logical.
    In general - even people who understand the subject have ideas and these ideas are worth more attention to them than the ideas of people who do not understand the subject.
    Again - I say this because this is my opinion and this should not be a reason for you to doubt my knowledge on the subject.
    I really think there is no point in continuing the matter.

  4. Michael
    What I wrote was worded in the form of a question, I did not offer one solution or another, I tried to understand myself
    (for personal knowledge) if such a condition/s can exist if it makes any sense at all and I thought you knew something
    in some subjects and you can better formulate the question I asked in your answer.
    I mean to 'correct' the question I asked so that it indicates where there is logic and where there is no logic.
    In any case, this debate is casual, so I'm not going to continue debating the issue.

  5. Ghost:
    I understand something about it, but as far as I understand your words, it is indeed a proposal that you make for the process that created the spiral structure.
    That's why I wrote what I wrote.
    Didn't you try to present an explanation for the spiral structure of the galaxy?
    If you tried to say something else then I simply did not understand you and you are welcome to elaborate on what you did mean.

  6. Michael
    I really don't offer a solution, I just asked a question that I thought you might understand something about
    And you can answer.
    I really have almost no knowledge of physics and mathematics so I asked a question at my level.
    I'm not trying to deal with the problems of galaxies and space and all that, I'm trying to understand everything
    In every field, and what I manage to understand - I have become wiser.

    Please don't get confused, I'm not pretending to be someone I'm not, and if you thought so, then you're wrong.
    All in all, I asked a question so that I could understand better and did not try to solve the problem.
    I will understand if you don't have an answer to the question.

  7. Ghost:
    It's not serious.
    Please don't think you can offer a solution to the issue without knowing any physics at all.
    The scenario you propose (if I understood what you're saying) is really delusional (forgive me for the expression but it really seems like that to me) but regardless of that - if you want to deal with the problem - you still have a lot (a lot!) to learn.
    To think that you can without any knowledge deal with such a complicated physical problem is simply disrespecting all the tremendous achievements of science.

  8. Avi,

    More than a year ago I wrote here on this topic,
    In response to the article that was here about the theory of relativity
    I think this was the last article here on this topic.

    If you have a search option for the articles here,
    You will be able to locate it easily.

    In one of the responses I presented links to a website that at the time dealt with the subject,
    And then they disowned him.

    I have written many times on this subject in Ort's science forum,
    The forum administrator knows the issue,
    And if you can contact him,
    Will provide a lot of information.

    I will try to find material on the subject, at the same time...

  9. Michael
    Perhaps a certain body (eg a black hole or other massive star) when rotating around itself at the center of the galaxy
    Part of the time gradually moving the stardust away from it and further, and part of the time bringing other celestial bodies closer
    to itself, but the radius of the circle (area where star dust and other celestial bodies are found) 'breaks' at a certain point
    and creates from a closed circle an open circle where the far 'edge' gradually moves away from the center of the galaxy and an edge close to the center
    Gradually getting closer to the center, this will allow the 'edge' away from the center to form (from the dust and sky elements that are
    on the track of the 'edge') that you will see as an 'arm of a spiral'? (Perhaps under the influence of the power of dark matter - dark energy?)
    Assuming that the 'edges' are a type of (dark?) energy that determines the trajectory of matter (star dust and celestial bodies).

  10. By the way, ghost:
    The structure of the galaxy is understood as a "process".
    For example - the spiral arms in a spiral galaxy are not constantly composed of the same stars - stars enter and leave them continuously!
    As I mentioned - we don't even know yet why these galaxies have spiral arms:

  11. Ghost:
    To color the dark matter - if its properties are what the scientists predict today - would be impossible because one of its basic properties is not interacting with light (and color is light).
    However, dark matter is currently being mapped using a gravitational field probe and you can see an example of such a mapping here:

  12. Michael
    I got you.
    It seems that understanding dark matter (provided it exists and I'm sure it does) will help a lot in understanding as well
    the galaxies. If, for example, the dark matter is discovered, and it will be possible to 'paint' it in a certain color
    In order for it to be detectable, then the shape of the galaxy would have to change as well, and it is
    will look different (with the addition of the dark matter). It seems that the galaxy is not 'static' like the Earth
    for example but more 'dynamic' and changing as if a galaxy is more of a 'process' (perhaps moving star dust
    in orbit) than 'cluster'. You know what I mean?

  13. Ghost:
    After all, I was talking about the dark matter, and it should be understood that the scientists deduced its existence from observing these spirals, then they also examined issues such as gravitational absorption and showed that indeed the dark matter hypothesis receives confirmation from these measurements as well, so this is clearly not a situation of mental fixation and scientists definitely draw conclusions from what is seen about what is not seen.

    Instead of trying to give me condescending psychological treatment - you should just speak to the matter.

  14. ghost moon:

    I'm short on understanding the issue, and I don't pretend to, but:

    Statistically speaking, even if *most* of us were not able to recognize a certain shape, and our minds would interpret it differently from its original lines - still, here and there, there were probably anomalies, and *some* of us would be able to recognize it as being - just like any other cognitive ability which develops for a certain part of the population, and for another - not.

    Thus, if *all* people are asked to identify a spiral, and draw it in the same way, it can be concluded that this is probably its shape.

    This is my personal opinion. I didn't pretend to be a great expert.

  15. Michael
    I understand you, don't get me wrong, I agree with the idea that the spiral you see in the form
    of the galaxy is a true spiral.
    What's more, I thought more in the direction that 100 percent of what we see (and see in the form of a spiral)
    is only a part of the whole picture.
    If, for example, dark matter is discovered in the space of the galaxy, then we will also know how to identify and point to it
    The dark matter, then the shape of the galaxy will also change (the dark matter will be added to it which will change its shape). not like that?

  16. To Mr. Roschild (41):
    If there is something I try to do, it is to replace the "s" and "f" in your judgments.
    Beyond that, I'm not looking for people to agree or disagree with me, I'm trying to provoke an interesting discussion and maybe learn a thing or two along the way.

  17. Ghost:
    As I said - in my opinion there is no chance that this is the case.
    A shape of a spiral is a shape of a spiral and it is not possible to see a shape that is not a spiral as if it were a shape of a spiral.
    The Indians also saw the ship exactly and if they had been asked to draw what they saw they would have drawn a ship.
    They just didn't know the concept of "ship" and so they described it as trees and a forest but it doesn't describe what they saw but the interpretation they gave to what they saw and considering their language - it was the best interpretation they could give.
    For example - if such an Indian went to his friend who did not see the ship and described to him in words what he saw (and does it well) and asked him to draw what he understood from his words, the friend would draw a configuration of trees that looks exactly like.... ship.
    On the other hand - if he had told his friend that he saw a ship, that friend would not have known what he was talking about.
    The spiral here is the form and not the meaning and you have no problem.
    This is the true form (of the visible matter. As I said - there is probably also dark matter there that is dispersed differently but is not seen).
    By the way - as you remember from another discussion - the structure is often described as a logarithmic spiral.
    In my opinion, there is an exaggeration in this phrase because it is already trying to imply something that really cannot be deduced from what you see (all in all there is a collection of rather scattered stars and not really a line and to identify a spiral there that is actually logarithmic is really an exaggeration because there are many and many spirals - both logarithmic and not - the ability to enter within that fuzzy structure and there would be room to talk about a logarithmic spiral only if the mechanism that creates the shape of the spiral was fully understood and the shape of a logarithmic spiral would arise from the mathematical expression of this understanding but today we are not really sure as to the reasons that lead to the spiral structure and as far as I know there is no calculation which shows that a logarithmic line should be accepted).

    It's about form.
    As for the interpretation - we have good reasons to believe that it is indeed sun-like stars scattered in the structure of a galaxy and not a dome with illuminated points that surrounds the earth (as the ancients thought).
    Theoretically we may not understand anything, but practically I don't think there is anyone in their right mind who thinks so.

    I understand that you are now trying, like the tracker article, to tell a ghost about his father's house.
    Ghost said he agreed with me. Didn't you notice?

  18. Mr. Refaim's question is a very interesting one (and the article he refers to is also very interesting).
    The way scientists interpret the observations depends very much on the historical and scientific context in which the scientist finds himself.
    Scientists from 10100200 years ago would not have seen and interpreted the observations in the same way that scientists do today and the same applies to scientists 100 years from now.
    This is exactly the phenomenon the article is talking about and it presents its claims through the examination of optical illusions.
    I would also like a discussion about Indians.

  19. Lisa:
    You insist on continuing the combative form of appeal.
    I explained my words and you are welcome to read them again and this time try (but really try and not like you "tried" before) to understand.
    Optical illusions are what Ghost offered as an explanation for what you see when you look at the galaxy.
    He brought it up as an example after he also brought up the subject of the ship and the Indians as an example (and from reading his other comments I know that the Indians example better represents the idea he was trying to ask about).
    As a matter of principle - he asked about what you see in the current article and to that I also answered.
    You just changed the topic of discussion.
    Even if a ghost mentioned optical illusions in his words - his question has nothing to do with optical illusions (and the subject of Indians has nothing to do with optical illusions either). He talked about a mental fixation that prevents us from seeing what is really happening there.
    In this sense - your attempt to present the question of a ghost as related to optical illusions is similar to trying to present it as related to a ship or Indians.
    Do you want to start a discussion about Indians now?

  20. Lisa
    I have to agree with Michael on this one. I really didn't mean optical illusions.
    But I want to refine the question
    The Indians saw something but not a ship, they saw (according to the story) a floating island with trees..
    When we look at a galaxy, if we put ourselves (the viewers) in the place of the people in the story
    (The whites and the Indians), do we stand in the place of the whites or in the place of the Indians?
    You mean we are like the whites who see the ship as it is? or
    That we are like Indians who see the ship as things they knew which is an island and trees?

  21. Here is a quote from comment number 29:
    "A ghost's question has nothing to do with optical errors."

    You have a very short memory Mr. Roschild

  22. And note, Lisa, that I answer you matter-of-factly, even though time and time again you attack personally.
    You are welcome to continue this behavior only if you want to personally attack yourself.

  23. In other words:
    Ghost asked a question about the current article and tried to hint at the possibility that what you see is an optical illusion.
    The fact that he sent a link about optical illusions does not change the topic of the current article nor the topic of Ghost's question.

  24. Lisa:
    Turns out you're not strong enough to even try.
    I wasn't talking about the ghost article but I was arguing that the astronomical observations described in the current article have nothing to do with optical illusions.
    I want to remind those who forgot or intended to forget that this is the subject of the discussion.

  25. Now to the matter he is talking about:
    If Mr. Roschild had bothered to read the article that Mr. Refaim pointed to, the honorable Mr. Roschild would have discovered that the article talks about optical illusions.

    I really tried.

  26. Lisa:
    I understand that it hurts you that I express my opinion, but still you should try to hold back and not turn every discussion into a personal war.

  27. With your permission, Mr. Roschild, let Mr. Rafaim judge what the context of his question is.
    (It is clear to me that you know everything. Science, unlike you, has some open questions left)

  28. Lisa:
    Ghost's question has nothing to do with optical errors.
    Optical errors occur under known conditions and for known reasons and have nothing to do with the brain not being able to imagine this or that.
    More than that: because of our brain's ability to understand reality we also understand that these are optical illusions and not reality.

  29. Ghost (26):
    I actually think you raise a very interesting point (thanks for the link to the article).
    The subject of human vision and its relationship to how man perceives reality is a fascinating subject. There is extensive research activity in this field and in general in what is known as the cognitive sciences.
    Over the years, a number of fascinating examples of how the visual system "deceives" the viewer have been collected. Here is a website that shows some of them:

  30. Ghost:
    I understood the question exactly and the answer I gave was completely to the point.
    Maybe you didn't understand the answer?
    Let's start with the fact that when a person sees a spiral on Earth - it really is a spiral.
    In general - natural selection has long since eliminated creatures that see forms that are not the true forms of things and I am really amazed how you keep coming back to the same point.
    It is clear that the spiral is a spiral just as it is also clear that the Indians saw the ship and surely they could also draw it.
    Whether the story is true or not - the only thing that could have happened is that they didn't understand what they saw, but they couldn't have not seen it.
    I guarantee you the first Indian who saw a car didn't try to drive through it.
    In general - this whole story underestimates humans more than they deserve.
    Before there were ships, no one had seen a ship and yet - at some point - someone came up with the idea and built a ship even though he had never seen one.
    The same goes for anything created by man.
    This whole idea that we are hallucinating is nothing but a hallucination.

    And yet - even though your question hinted (again) that you are a participant in the aforementioned delusion, I answered you as if you asked a smarter question that does not refer to the shapes we see but to understanding their meaning.
    That's why I directed you to the article about serendipitous discoveries.
    Sometimes - when you see something unfamiliar - you don't always understand the meaning.
    Understanding the meaning is - as beautifully described in the article - a matter of knowledge, openness, vigilance and intelligence.
    These are qualities that some people have and others have less.

    When someone sees a spiral galaxy they will always see points of light arranged in a spiral shape but not always know to call it a spiral.
    He also didn't always know that the points of light are suns that behave similarly to our sun and emit a lot of energy.
    He did not always know that the galaxy rotates and that this happens under the influence of gravity.
    He did not always know that dark matter or something else is needed to fully explain the speed of rotation and that the conclusion from this is that most of the galaxy (which is not arranged in a spiral shape) he does not see at all.

    He might even come up with a delusional theory that in the center of the galaxy there is a sprinkler that sprays the galaxy out and decide that because the scientists said that there is a black hole in the center of the galaxy then this sprinkler is a black hole (and maybe this someone will be called Hazy).

  31. Michael
    Maybe you didn't understand what exactly I meant in question 16, so I'll ask one more time
    Are the galaxies that man (the astronomer?) sees, which appear to him (mostly) as a spiral,
    Are they spirals in reality or do they look that way because the brain 'presents' them that way? (Even when you get pictures
    From the telescope of some spiral galaxy - and see what the galaxy looks like, maybe what
    Seeing is only a part of what the galaxy really looks like because the mind is not capable
    imagine the true shape of the galaxy).
    I know that it is difficult to answer such a question, perhaps impossible to give an unequivocal answer,
    But in your opinion can such a situation occur?

  32. for everyone:
    Because Hazi directed his response to all the defenders of the"science" And in my opinion, none of his opponents are like that and his question is actually directed only at himself - there is no need for anyone to comment on his words.

    From this picture it is probably impossible to learn anything about dark matter.
    This requires additional observations (which may have been conducted but not reported here) that include information on the accelerations of the stars and the gravitational pull that the structure creates.
    If the dark matter does have the properties attributed to it, its shape will probably be the shape of two lumps (perhaps partially overlapping) that have almost no "tails", revolving around each other.

  33. I repeat the question in a slightly different wording:
    Can this observation of binary quasars in galaxy mergers teach?
    Us something new about the properties and behavior of dark matter?


  34. Guys, please: don't turn this discussion into a boxing ring between theology and science!!! It doesn't deserve Ialush who bothers and uploads articles and translates articles for us.

    So Hezi said, so what?! Does this mean that every nonsense someone spews should be considered?!
    What is the connection now between astrophysics, and Amnon Yitzchak???

    If Hezi wants to make a substantive comment, he is welcome to do so. And if not - there is no obligation to pull out nails. No scientist will die from his reaction.

    thank you for the answer

  35. To all the defenders of "science":

    A- The matter of the theory of relativity:
    A few years ago (about fifteen) the Americans sent a special satellite to verify Einstein's theories.
    The mission failed, and no proof of the theory was achieved.
    The whole scientific world is full of water...

    Everyone shut up...

    B- Regarding the theory of "random evolution: more than one hundred and fifty years trying to prove and still trying...

    Still looking for the "missing link"...

    The main problem with "science" is that it tries to deny that there is non-human intelligence...

    The scientific method loves the "laboratory for experiments".

  36. Hazy, you obviously have no idea how the scientific world works. You don't know with what pleasure and with what joy scientists disprove the other's theories. No one is afraid and if someone had evidence that the theory of relativity was wrong they would fly, not run, to publish it because who knows if they won't get some Nobel prize for it.
    As for B, it's complete nonsense, you find a fossil of a person from 100 million years ago and here you are disproving evolution, do you think that if there was a paleontologist who found it, he wouldn't run to publish it?
    And as for the rest of your nonsense about evolution, you should read and wait a bit before you throw out the phrase "it's not true".

  37. There is a story that when the explorers arrived (discovered) the American continent (I think it was Columbus)
    So the Indians who met them could not see them until they (the explorers) got off the ships.
    The explanation was that the Indians had never seen a ship until that moment so their brains were not
    Able to recognize and see the ships approaching the shore and instead of the ships their mind imagined something else.
    I found a reference to the story in the following link

    I guess scientifically it could make sense and even be true.
    If this is indeed the case, what does it say nowadays about the scientists who discover new things?
    What does this say about the galaxies that man sees? Is their form (that we see) just
    The 'reflection' of the calculations made by the astronomers and because the calculation came out so that the galaxy
    A spiral so our brain sees it as a spiral?

  38. Chest:
    You are a real troll.
    You have nothing to say and you know nothing about any field of science and you bother to make it clear in every response.

  39. Hey, the quotation marks in A say it all. Scientists themselves are afraid to talk about relativity. Real scientists are already proving it.
    As for B. I understand that the great and knowledgeable scientist Amnon Yitzchak said, or Jerry Forwell (if there is any difference at all between their opinions), then they said. The beauty of Darwin's theory is that it was proven correct despite all the later findings - that is, genetics and the structure of DNA.

  40. A- "Scientists" are afraid to talk about the theory of relativity today...

    B. Drowin's theory is not a scientific theory, because there are no criteria to disprove it...
    The only correct thing that Darwin "discovered" was that life developed gradually, i.e. "in evolution"...
    Everything else (random mutations that developed life) is not true.

  41. Hezi,
    The theory of relativity stood above another theory that was not marginal at all, which dominated physics roughly from the moment physics was created (Newton's laws).

    Evolution also made its way successfully through objections arising from other theories (especially Lord Calvin who denied it altogether, for scientific reasons)
    And all this happened only a hundred years ago.
    When there is a theory strong enough to knock these down, they will. Today's science is no more conservative than the science of a century ago.

  42. Noam:
    Hezi doesn't even understand that science is a method and not "someone" who can be afraid.
    Eran M understands this but refuses to acknowledge the enormous progress that has taken place in the last two hundred years and which completely contradicts his claims.
    All in all, these are Pavlovian reactions of people who have been struck by the shock of the future.

  43. Over time, this is always true.

    It is true that sometimes it takes time before the importance of the discovery is recognized, and the initial tendency is to attribute the contradiction to measurement problems and the like.

    All the examples you mentioned prove that this is how the scientific method works - and with enormous success.

  44. pleasantness,

    This is true with limited liability…

    As long as these are marginal theories...

    Not when it comes to "Darwinian random evolution",
    And not when it comes to the "theories of relativity"...

  45. To Noam this is one of the great problems of science, or rather of scientists as human beings.
    One of the ways that a new theory replaces old theories is the death of the thinkers of the old theory and their students.
    See for example Einstein's special theory of relativity, and pretty much any other case.

  46. Hezi,

    You wrote: "Science" today is afraid to discover facts that will contradict "solid" theories...

    Who told you this nonsense?

    exactly the opposite. Science is based on attempts to refute existing theories, which is why it is so successful - in complete contrast to religion, which is deathly afraid of anything that seems to contradict what is written in the book of books.

  47. It is not necessary for me to predict that what you are seeing is not part of a mass hallucination from the use of mushrooms, it is part of a computer simulation - The Matrix.
    According to your approach nothing is wrong and nothing is necessary and it leads nowhere

  48. "Science" today is afraid to discover facts that will contradict "solid" theories...

    Computer simulations are based on knowledge or theories that were accepted in the past,
    And it is not necessary that which theories are correct,
    And it is not necessary that the computer simulations are correct...

  49. white blood:
    But the configuration of disrupting the original structure and creating tails indicates that they collide.
    In general, if they are far enough from each other (and not too far so that the expansion of space does not continue to push them apart) then depending on their directions of movement and their relative speeds they should - either be on a collision course - or be on a course where they circle a common center of gravity.

  50. "Just because you can see two galaxies that are close to each other in the sky, it doesn't mean that they are merging" - isn't gravity *necessarily* supposed to cause a merger?

  51. Thanks for the article.
    I wonder what the dark matter of the two galaxies should look like
    According to the computer model?

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