Friday, October 21, 2022

Extremely Red Quasar SDSS J165202 | James Webb Space Telescope

Extremely Red Quasar SDSS J165202 | James Webb Space Telescope

Webb's View Around the Extremely Red Quasar SDSS J165202
Motions of Gas Around an Extremely Red Quasar (NIRSpec IFU)
Webb’s View of the Extremely Red Quasar SDSS J165202

Wide Field Hubble View of Extremely Red Quasar SDSS J165202

Astronomers looking into the early universe have made a surprising discovery using NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope: a cluster of massive galaxies in the process of forming around an extremely red quasar. The result will expand our understanding of how galaxy clusters in the early universe came together and formed the cosmic web we see today.

The quasar is an “extremely red” quasar that exists in the very early Universe, 11.5 billion years ago. A quasar, a special type of active galactic nucleus (AGN), is a compact region with a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy. Gas falling into a supermassive black hole makes the quasar bright enough to outshine all the galaxy’s stars.

The quasar SDSS J165202.64+172852.3 is highlighted in an image from the NASA/European Space Agency Hubble Space Telescope in visible and near-infrared on the left. The images in the center and on the right present new observations from the NASA/European Space Agency/Canadian Space Agency James Webb Space Telescope in multiple wavelengths to demonstrate the distribution of gas around the object.

Image 1: The image in the center is composed of four narrow-band images made from the Webb NIRSpec instrument’s integral-field spectroscopy mode. All the four narrow-band images show extremely red-shifted emissions from doubly ionized oxygen which has an emission line around 500nm in visible light; before it was shifted to infrared light.

Image 1: The panels on the right present the four narrow-band images separately. Each color illustrates the relative speed of ionized oxygen gas across the cluster. The redder the color the faster gas is moving away from our line of sight with the quasar, while the bluer the color the faster it is moving away from the quasar toward us. The color green indicates that the gas is steady in our line of sight in comparison to the quasar.

Image 1: The blue and yellow panels reveal the bi-conical outflow from the quasar, with the orange panel showing the gas moving faster from us, which is extended towards the lower right, as well as highlighting a companion galaxy on the upper left of the frame.

[Image 1 Description: This visual shows three images. On the left is a wide field view of multiple galaxies in the field. In the center is an image that is composed of four narrow-band images together, which appears as a burred rainbow blotch of colors. On the right are the four individual narrow-band images of the quasar in red, orange, teal, and blue.]

Credit: European Space Agency (ESA)/Webb, NASA & Canadian Space Agency (CSA), D. Wylezalek, A. Vayner & the Q3D Team, N. Zakamska

Release Date: October 20, 2022

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