This Is What a Quasar Looks Like

The mysterious celestial objects called quasars are some of the brightest objects in our universe. Quasars are actually galaxies with powerful black holes at their centers, sucking in matter and spitting out gouts of x-rays that create a massive, broiling-hot cloud. » 1/09/15 6:05pm 1/09/15 6:05pm

The Cosmic War Between Ancient Starburst Galaxies And Supermassive…

These red dots represent some of the earliest galaxies known to astronomy. Located ten billion light-years away, they're only a few billion years older than the Big Bang. Their presence explains why we're now surrounded by massive elliptical galaxies. » 1/25/12 12:00pm 1/25/12 12:00pm

Astronomers discover the first unchanged relics of the Big Bang

Located some 11 billion light-years from Earth are two clouds of gas. Just two billion years younger than the Big Bang itself, they appear to be the first known clouds that are completely unaltered since the birth of the universe. » 11/22/11 11:45am 11/22/11 11:45am

Ancient black hole contains 100,000 Suns worth of water

A distant, hyper-energetic black hole known as a quasar contains the largest reserve of water in the known universe, equivalent to 140 trillion times the water on Earth. The solution to our water crisis is only 12 billion light-years away! » 7/25/11 8:00am 7/25/11 8:00am

Why supermassive black holes are too greedy for their own good

The galaxy Markarian 231 is dying, and its own supermassive black hole is ripping it apart. The black hole is absorbing so much material and spewing so much dust and gas back out that star formation has been completely disrupted. » 3/01/11 3:07pm 3/01/11 3:07pm

Solving the cosmic mystery of the green blob in space

Back in 2007, Dutch schoolteacher and amateur astronomer Hanny van Arkel spotted a strange object near a distant spiral galaxy...and nobody had any idea what it was. Now, four years later, we're finally learning the truth about this mysterious object » 1/12/11 4:44pm 1/12/11 4:44pm

The early universe caught a fever from super-energetic black holes

The universe is thought to have consistently become cooler over time. But about 1.5 billion years ago, the cosmos overheated in a massive temperature spike, caused by runaway black holes that pumped tons of ultraviolet radiation into the universe. » 11/04/10 3:36pm 11/04/10 3:36pm

Quasar gravitational lens is seen for the first time ever

Gravitational lenses are cosmic phenomena that radically distort light passing by, make objects behind the lens appear much brighter, and help astronomers see distant parts of the universe. And now we've seen a quasar get in on the fun. » 7/20/10 1:40pm 7/20/10 1:40pm

Galaxies linked by quasar-making nebula six times bigger than the Milky…

Billions of light years away, quasars are the brightest objects in the universe. So bright, in fact, that we'd never gotten a good look at what makes them tick...until scientists discovered a gargantuan nebula linking galaxies and fueling one quasar. » 6/25/10 4:30pm 6/25/10 4:30pm

Two Galaxies Smash Together To Create Binary Quasar

Astronomers have caught the first definitive glimpse of one of the most dramatic events in the universe. Billions of light-years away, two galaxies are merging into one, creating a supermassive binary quasar at their center. » 2/04/10 3:00pm 2/04/10 3:00pm

Water Vapor Discovered Near Black Hole 11.1 Billion Light Years Away

The discovery of water vapor in a distant quasar system has overturned established ideas about the existence of water in the early universe. » 12/18/08 12:35pm 12/18/08 12:35pm