A group of astronomers have discovered a dozen quasars that are distorted by a natural cosmic ‘lens’ and divided into four similar images. Quasars are extremely bright nuclei of distant galaxies that are powered by supermassive black holes. This rare discovery increases the number of known quasars or quadrilaterals by about 25 percent and can help determine the rate of expansion of the universe and help solve other mysteries.
Quasars with quadruple images are rare, and the first quadruple image was discovered in 1985. Over the past four decades, astronomers have found about fifty of these “squares” or shorter squares, which occur when the gravity of a massive galaxy accidentally sitting in front of a quasar splits its single image. at four, said the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
A study by the Gaia (GraL) Astronomers’ Working Group on Gravitational Lenses, involving scientists from the Aryabhatta Research Institute for Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital, DST Institute, which lasted only a year and a half, shows the power of machines learning to help astronomers in search of these cosmic gems. The study was accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal, DST said.
“Fours are gold mines for all kinds of issues. They can help determine the speed of space expansion and help solve other mysteries, such as dark matter and quasar “central engines,” said Daniel Stern, lead author of the new study and researcher at Jet Propulsion Laboratory USA.
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