The closest quasar to
the Milky Way is giving up its secrets, thanks to an innovative technique developed by Japanese astronomers.
Quasars are the
ultraluminous cores of galaxies that contain extremely active supermassive black holes.
A quasar's intense
radiation originates from massive amounts of hot gas forming an accretion disk around the black hole's maw.
Using the Atacama Large
Millimeter/submillimeter Array in Chile (ALMA), researchers targeted the quasar 3C 273.
At 2.4 billion light-years
from Earth, 3C 273 is the closest quasar to the Milky Way and the first quasar ever to be identified.
The technique by japan revealed
never-before-seen details about 3C 273's host galaxy, including what the scientists described as an "unknown structure"
There appears to be
plenty of cold molecular hydrogen gas remaining in 3C 273's host galaxy, and star formation is ongoing.