NASA and the European Space Agency’s beloved Hubble Space Telescope has laid eyes (or mirrors, rather) on a shining, shimmering new revelation.
After over three decades of operation, the Hubble Space Telescope continues to carry on with its search to uncover even fresher phenomena existing throughout the universe’s ever-increasing expanse. At this rate, one might think that both the European Space Agency and NASA are keen on keeping this beloved piece of technology orbiting around our planet for as long as time will let it. This will not be the case, however. While it is true that the newer and better equipped James Webb Space Telescope is bound to replace trusty old Hubble before 2021 ends, this impressive successor will by no means overshadow the advances that its famed predecessor has and does contribute to astronomy—including the discovery it has recently made.
NASA has made known that the Hubble telescope has been “seeing double”. What is that supposed to mean? Well, by looking through time and observing the universe in its depths, it has discovered two quasars situated remarkably close to each other. So close in fact that, from telescopic photos alone, they could easily be mistaken as one lone object.
A sight to behold, billions of lightyears off!
Health Thoroughfare states that researchers reckon that the pair of quasars are located within two galaxy mergers; such a possibility makes explainable the closeness of the two celestial bodies which are distanced from our planet by a whopping 10-billion lightyears. This means that even far before our Earth came to be, these extraterrestrial wonders were already lighting up the cosmos.
One of thousands
According to Yue Shuen, lead researcher at the University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign, it is estimated that there is a single double quasar present among every 1,000 quasars in the distant universe. This renders the search for this first-discovered pair’s companions comparable to finding a needle in a haystack.
Another member of the team of researchers, Nadia Zakamska of John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland says that this new discovery truly is the earliest sample of dual quasars at the galaxy formation’s peak epoch which, furthermore, can be used to gain more understanding of how supermassive black holes combine to create a binary.
As of discoveries dating up to August 2020, astronomers have found over 750,000 quasars spread across the universe. Each of these distinguished quasar spectra contain 0.056 to 7.64 of redshifts.
Much like the lasting of the Hubble Telescope’s astronomical relevance despite its imminent replacement by the James Webb Space Telescope, the finding of this first pair of quasars will surely remain a stunning discovery as its thousands of still hidden fellow pairs eventually steal their spotlight in the future. While waiting for the next wowing telescopic discoveries, space enthusiasts can kick it and do their own sky searching outdoors with products such as the TELMU Telescope and this Extra Large Picnic & Outdoor Blanket.