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Quasar near the edge of the visible Universe

Submitter: Zsolt Paragi
Description: Quasars are the central engines of Active Galactic Nuclei. Observed with an optical telescope they appear star-like, but with radio techniques we are able to resolve their emission. Because they are so powerful, their light can be seen by modern telescopes from distances comparable with the size of the Universe. The European VLBI Network, with its great telescopes and 1 Gbit/s recording capability, is especially suited for imaging faint sources at the edge of the Universe.

The image shows 1.6 GHz EVN map of J1427+3312, the most distant among currently known radio quasars. Its structure and spectral properties show a striking similarity to Compact Symmetric Objects (CSO), a class of young sources in the local Universe. With its redshift of z=6.12, J1427+3312 lies close to the Epoch of Reionization, when gas in the intergalactic space became fully ionized. Studying EoR is one of the main goals of LOFAR, and J1427+3312 will be an excellent target for this purpose.

This research is published in Astronnomy and Astrophysics (Vol. 484, L49) by Frey et al. For more information, read the JIVE press release.
Copyright: JIVE
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