In a Major Astronomical Feat, 1.3 Million Quasars Illuminate the Universe’s Past

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Science, Space and Technology News 2024

A groundbreaking map of 1.3 million quasars reveals the universe’s structure and expansion, utilizing data from the Gaia space telescope and aiding in the study of dark matter and cosmic evolution. Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, Joseph Olmsted

Astronomers have charted the largest-ever volume of the universe with a new map of active supermassive black holes living at the centers of galaxies. Called quasars, the gas-gobbling black holes are, ironically, some of the universe’s brightest objects. . The paper’s lead author, Kate Storey-Fisher, is a postdoctoral researcher at the Donostia International Physics Center in Spain.

This graphic representation of the map shows the location of quasars from our vantage point, the center of the sphere. The regions empty of quasars are where the disk of our galaxy blocks our view. Quasars with larger redshifts are further away from us. Credit: ESA/Gaia/DPAC; Lucy Reading-Ikkanda/Simons Foundation; K. Storey-Fisher et al. 2024

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