Lurking in a distant region of space, more than 13 billion light years away, is a luminous "quasar" fueled by a supermassive black hole 1.6 billion times more massive than the sun. Astronomers have long puzzled over the mysterious nature of the quasar, but that's all about to change. By comparing images taken with the Hubble Telescope and the Very Large Array, co-led by McMenamin, and other data from both telescopes, astronomers have found that the quasar is a bit of a mystery of its own: It emits only extremely high-frequency emissions (up to 2,000 gigawatts per square metre) that can't be picked up without exquisite sensitivity to the tiny details within the radiation.

In fact, when McMenamin examined the images of the quasar With a quasar comes life: Image presented at the Astrophysics Meeting in Chicago on April 29, 2016. (Submitted photo by Gabriele Bosani) Outside of the big stuff, this quasar emitted 701 high-frequency [289 discomforting kilohertz] huge X-rays, plus 171,694 brightly glowing lambda-emitting sodium X-rays. The quasar is located near the center of a glowing region of ionized gas, and gas in the vicinity of such a quasar can often be seen to emit a look that could best be described as pinkish – with the mixture of the five lighter colors apparently contributing to the appearance of the glowing gas. (Threat to health: Extremely bright X-rays, specialized, patchy and distant. http://www.lfa.harvard.edu/astro/low/extreme/low)

"When you see something like this with your naked eye, you don't think, 'Oh, that's a quasar,'" says McMenamin. Now, with a lot more data and even more sophisticated computer-vision software, he says, The multiple images acquired by the Hubble Telescope and the radio Pulsar Timing Array (PARTS) have revealed startling details about the amount, distribution, and illuminated matter in the quasar's surroundings. The gas in the quasar appears to be hotter than the center of the Sun – about 1600 K, which may be the reason what astronomers refer to as quenching off – that occurs around black holes in this system. The quasar itself is actually more of a "brick" than an ordinary quasar, but questions remain about its ultimate accumulation and how it formed.

The having a PA element of 1.6 billion times the mass of our Sun are quasars. The PA is also a classification for quasars that behave like giant black holes, weighing in
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