PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
FREE PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Quasar discovery sets new distance record

2021-01-12
(Press-News.org) An international team of astronomers has discovered the most distant quasar yet found -- a cosmic monster more than 13 billion light-years from Earth powered by a supermassive black hole more than 1.6 billion times more massive than the Sun and more than 1,000 times brighter than our entire Milky Way Galaxy.

The quasar, called J0313-1806, is seen as it was when the Universe was only 670 million years old and is providing astronomers with valuable insight on how massive galaxies -- and the supermassive black holes at their cores -- formed in the early Universe. The scientists presented their findings to the American Astronomical Society's meeting, now underway virtually, and in a paper accepted to the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The new discovery beats the previous distance record for a quasar set three years ago. Observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile confirmed the distance measurement to high precision.

Quasars occur when the powerful gravity of a supermassive black hole at a galaxy's core draws in surrounding material that forms an orbiting disk of superheated material around the black hole. The process releases tremendous amounts of energy, making the quasar extremely bright, often outshining the rest of the galaxy.

The black hole at the core of J0313-1806 is twice as massive as that of the previous record holder and that fact provides astronomers with a valuable clue about such black holes and their affect on their host galaxies.

"This is the earliest evidence of how a supermassive black hole is affecting the galaxy around it," said Feige Wang, a Hubble Fellow at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory and leader of the research team. "From observations of less distant galaxies, we know that this has to happen, but we have never seen it happening so early in the Universe."

The huge mass of J0313-1806's black hole at such an early time in the Universe's history rules out two theoretical models for how such objects formed, the astronomers said. In the first of these models, individual massive stars explode as supernovae and collapse into black holes that then coalesce into larger black holes. In the second, dense clusters of stars collapse into a massive black hole. In both cases, however, the process takes too long to produce a black hole as massive as the one in J0313-1806 by the age at which we see it.

"This tells you that no matter what you do, the seed of this black hole must have formed by a different mechanism," said Xiaohui Fan, also of the University of Arizona. "In this case, it's a mechanism that involves vast quantities of primordial, cold hydrogen gas directly collapsing into a seed black hole."

The ALMA observations of J0313-1806 provided tantalizing details about the quasar host galaxy, which is forming new stars at a rate 200 times that of our Milky Way. "This is a relatively high star formation rate in galaxies of similar age, and it indicates that the quasar host galaxy is growing very fast," said Jinyi Yang, the second author of the report, who is a Peter A. Strittmatter Fellow at the University of Arizona.

The quasar's brightness indicates that the black hole is swallowing the equivalent of 25 Suns every year. The energy released by that rapid feeding, the astronomers said, probably is powering a powerful outflow of ionized gas seen moving at about 20 percent of the speed of light.

Such outflows are thought to be what ultimately stops star formation in the galaxy.

"We think those supermassive black holes were the reason why many of the big galaxies stopped forming stars at some point," Fan said. "We observe this 'quenching' at later times, but until now, we didn't know how early this process began in the history of the Universe. This quasar is the earliest evidence that quenching may have been happening at very early times."

This process also will leave the black hole with nothing left to eat and halt its growth, Fan pointed out.

In addition to ALMA, the astronomers used the 6.5-meter Magellan Baade telescope, the Gemini North telescope and W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, and the Gemini South telescope in Chile.

The astronomers plan to continue studying J0313-1806 and other quasars with ground-based and space-based telescopes.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

INFORMATION:

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded by ESO on behalf of its Member States, by NSF in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and by NINS in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI).

ALMA construction and operations are led by ESO on behalf of its Member States; by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), on behalf of North America; and by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) on behalf of East Asia. The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.



ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

The earliest supermassive black hole and quasar in the universe

The earliest supermassive black hole and quasar in the universe
2021-01-12
Maunakea, Hawaii - The most distant quasar known has been discovered. The quasar, seen just 670 million years after the Big Bang, is 1000 times more luminous than the Milky Way, and is powered by the earliest known supermassive black hole, which weighs in at more than 1.6 billion times the mass of the Sun. Seen more than 13 billion years ago, this fully formed distant quasar is also the earliest yet discovered, providing astronomers with insight into the formation of massive galaxies in the early universe. The result was released today at the January 2021 meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS).  Quasars, which are powered by the feeding frenzies of colossal supermassive black holes, are the most energetic objects ...

Organizations collaborate to develop international von Willebrand Disease guidelines

2021-01-12
The American Society of Hematology (ASH), the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH), National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF), and World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) have developed joint clinical practice guidelines on the diagnosis and management of von Willebrand Disease (VWD), the world's most common inherited bleeding disorder. The guidelines were published today in Blood Advances. VWD affects approximately 1% of the world's population, and it is the most common bleeding disorder. Although VWD occurs among men and women equally, women are more likely to notice the symptoms because of heavy or abnormal bleeding during their menstrual periods and after childbirth. This inherited condition results in the ...

Scientists identify 'immune cop' that detects SARS-CoV-2

Scientists identify immune cop that detects SARS-CoV-2
2021-01-12
LA JOLLA, CALIF. - Jan 12, 2020 - Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute have identified the sensor in human lungs that detects SARS-CoV-2 and signals that it's time to mount an antiviral response. The study, published today in Cell Reports, provides insights into the molecular basis of severe disease and may enable new strategies for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19. "Our research has shown that MDA-5 is the immune cop that's tasked to keep an eye out for SARS-CoV-2 and call for back-up," says Sumit Chanda, Ph.D., director of the Immunity and Pathogenesis Program at Sanford Burnham Prebys and senior author of the study. ...

When AI is used to set prices, can inadvertent collusion be a result?

2021-01-12
Key Takeaways: Machine learning can be an effective tool to set competitive prices. Artificial intelligence has its limits on how to set the most effective prices due to variables beyond the seller's control. Over the long term, supracompetitive pricing can result. CATONSVILLE, MD, January 12, 2021 - Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are perfectly suited to help companies and marketers monitor and set prices based on real-time dynamic pricing. But new research has identified some possible unintended consequences of AI in this area. Machine learning algorithms don't always account for factors outside of the seller's control, such as competitor prices. Researchers ...

More than half of COVID-19 health care workers at risk for mental health problems

2021-01-12
The daily toll of COVID-19, as measured by new cases and the growing number of deaths, overlooks a shadowy set of casualties: the rising risk of mental health problems among health care professionals working on the frontlines of the pandemic. A new study, led by University of Utah Health scientists, suggests more than half of doctors, nurses, and emergency responders involved in COVID-19 care could be at risk for one or more mental health problems, including acute traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, problematic alcohol use, and insomnia. The researchers found that the risk of these mental health conditions was comparable to rates observed during natural disasters, such as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. "What health care workers are experiencing is akin to domestic combat," says ...

Enhanced oral uptake of exosomes opens cell therapy alternative

Enhanced oral uptake of exosomes opens cell therapy alternative
2021-01-12
LOS ANGELES (Jan. 11, 2021) -- Cell-derived exosomes are effective in treating disease when mixed with the dominant protein in breast milk and given orally, a new Smidt Heart Institute study of laboratory mice shows. The findings, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Extracellular Vesicles, could help develop new oral medications for treating patients with muscular dystrophy and heart failure. The study builds on more than a decade of research led by Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, executive director of the Smidt Heart Institute and Cedars-Sinai professor of Cardiology. The research has focused on human cardiosphere-derived ...

Johns Hopkins scientist develops method to find toxic chemicals in drinking water

2021-01-12
Most consumers of drinking water in the United States know that chemicals are used in the treatment processes to ensure the water is safe to drink. But they might not know that the use of some of these chemicals, such as chlorine, can also lead to the formation of unregulated toxic byproducts. Johns Hopkins Environmental Health and Engineering Prof. Carsten Prasse proposes a new approach to assessing drinking water quality that could result in cleaner, safer taps. "We are exposing people in the United States to these chemical compounds without knowing what they ...

NASA missions help investigate an 'Old Faithful' active galaxy

2021-01-12
During a typical year, over a million people visit Yellowstone National Park, where the Old Faithful geyser regularly blasts a jet of boiling water high in the air. Now, an international team of astronomers has discovered a cosmic equivalent, a distant galaxy that erupts roughly every 114 days. Using data from facilities including NASA's Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory and Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), the scientists have studied 20 repeated outbursts of an event called ASASSN-14ko. These various telescopes and instruments are sensitive to different wavelengths of light. By using them collaboratively, scientists obtained more detailed pictures of the outbursts. "These are the most predictable and frequent recurring multiwavelength ...

Wearable electronics for continuous cardiac, respiratory monitoring

Wearable electronics for continuous cardiac, respiratory monitoring
2021-01-12
WASHINGTON, January 12, 2021 -- A highly sensitive wearable sensor for cardiorespiratory monitoring could potentially be worn continuously by cardiac patients or others who require constant monitoring. The small and inexpensive sensor, announced in Applied Physics Letters, by AIP Publishing, is based on an electrochemical system involving two ionic forms of iodine, I- and I3-. A solution containing these electrolyte substances is placed into a small circular cavity that is capped with a thin flexible diaphragm, allowing detection of subtle movements when placed on a patient's chest. Small motions that arise from the heartbeat and breathing cause the flexible diaphragm ...

Tissue stiffness likely drives immune responses in many chronic diseases

2021-01-12
Stiffness in our tissues causes tension in our cells. Research from the Buck Institute, the University Health Network (University of Toronto), Stanford University, and the University of Alberta shows that stiffness impacts the innate immune system by upping its metabolism. The findings suggest the cellular tension likely sets off an inflammatory loop that contributes to the development of chronic diseases of aging. Publishing in Cell Reports, Buck Associate Professor Dan Winer, MD, and colleagues present an emerging way of looking at how the immune system functions, possibilities for new immunotherapeutics, and a call for scientists to reconsider the way they do research. While stiffness ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Study provides first real-world evidence of Covid-19 contact tracing app effectiveness

Myeloid immune cells in the blood tied to severe COVID-19

Scientists developed energy saving ceramic phosphors for high power LED systems

Roadblocks to success for PhD grads could mean missed opportunities for Canada

Corona vaccination: Approach receives approval

Researchers use nanomaterials to make 2D diamond clusters at room temperature

Reef fish futures foretold

When looking at species declines, nuances and long-term data are important

Solar hydrogen: Photoanodes made of alpha-SnWO4 promise high efficiencies

Intercontinental study sheds light on the microbial life of sourdough

Biodegradable displays for sustainable electronics

Autistic kids may have a harder time recognizing healthy vs. toxic arguments

A benchmark for single-electron circuits

UOC researchers have analysed 13 apps developed for the treatment and control of neglected tropical diseases, identifying the main weaknesses and evaluating possible improvements

At three days old, newborn mice remember their moms

Fighting racial inequity by funding Black scientists

Microwaves used to deactivate coronavirus, flu, other aerosolized viruses

Prevalence, risk factors associated with self-reported psychological distress among children, adolescents during COVID-19 pandemic in China

Neonatal antibiotic use associated with reduced growth in boys

Air purifiers may do more harm than good in confined spaces with airborne viruses

Nixing bone cancer fuel supply offers new treatment approach, mouse study suggests

Iron-carrying extracellular vesicles are key to respiratory viral-bacterial co-infection

A research team from Denmark discovers new control mechanism in the innate immune system

Soil health is as environmentally important as air and water quality, say microbiologists

The longevity gene mammalian Indy (mINDY) is involved in blood pressure regulation

Children cannot ignore what they hear when detecting emotions

Nuclear physicist's voyage towards a mythical island

Holocaust Remembrance Day: COVID-19 changed how we remember

Cancer deaths attributable to cigarette smoking in 152 US metropolitan and micropolitan areas

To combat false news, correct after reading

[Press-News.org] Quasar discovery sets new distance record