Astrophysicists receive a signal emitted 7 billion years ago


magic

A group of Astrophysicists has received  a ‘Signal’ produced some 7 BILLION years ago. The signal is considered that the most distant sources of energy known so far and was emitted millions of years before the appearance of planet Earth. The discovery was made by experts using the MAGIC and Fermi-LAT telescopes.

Over 7 Billion years ago, a fascinating and extremely powerful explosion occurred at an object called QSO B0218 + 357, leading to a super-intense flare of gamma rays –the highest-energy for of light.

An international team of astrophysicists has discovered the oldest high-energy source of gamma-ray radiation known so far according to the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Scientists were able to capture the powerful gamma-ray burst with the help of the MAGIC and Fermi-LAT telescopes. The analysis of the recorded data determined that its origin occurred at the QSO B0218 + 357 blazar. QSO B0218 + 357 hosts a supermassive Black Hole in a galaxy that is located halfway across the universe. Experts concluded that the finding was made possible thanks to ‘gravitational lensing’ produced by a massive galaxy located between the quasar and our planet, which basically ‘repeated’ the signal produced by the source.

Photons are emitted from a galaxy QSO B0218+357 in the direction of the Earth. Due to the gravitational effect of the intervening galaxy B0218+357G photons form two paths that reach Earth with a delay of about 11 days. Photons were observed by both the Fermi-LAT instrument and the MAGIC telescopes. Credit: Daniel Lopez/IAC; NASA/ESA; NASA E/PO - Sonoma State University, Aurore Simonnet.
Photons are emitted from a galaxy-QSO B0218+357 in the direction of the Earth. Due to the gravitational effect of the intervening galaxy B0218+357G photons form two paths that reach Earth with a delay of about 11 days. Photons were observed by both the Fermi-LAT instrument and the MAGIC telescopes. Credit: Daniel Lopez/IAC; NASA/ESA; NASA E/PO – Sonoma State University, Aurore Simonnet.

A blazar is a very compact quasar (quasi-stellar radio source) associated with a presumed supermassive black hole at the center of an active, giant elliptical galaxy. Blazars are among the most energetic phenomena in the universe and are an important topic in extragalactic astronomy. Blazars are very compact and extremely variable energy sources, which are associated with black holes located in the center of galaxies.

“The blazar was discovered initially on 14 July 2014 by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) of the Fermi satellite,” explains Razmik Mirzoyan, a scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Physics and spokesperson for the MAGIC collaboration. “The gamma-ray telescopes on Earth immediately fixed their sights on the blazer in order to learn more about this object.”

According to experts, from the moment of emission, the light of QSO B0218 + 357 traveled a staggering 7 BILLION years before reaching our galaxy. The Earth’s age is estimated at about 4.54 million years, meaning that the signal was emitted millions of years before our planet came into existence.

Experts concluded that the recorded energy data revealed that the photons had between 65 and 175 gigaelectronvolts (GeV), which allowed them to classify QSO B0218 + 357 as a source of high gamma-radiation energy.

Blazars are considered as one of the most powerful phenomena in the universe and are a subject of great importance in the field of extragalactic astronomy.

Find out more:

Detection of very high energy gamma-ray emission from the gravitationally lensed blazar QSO B0218+357 with the MAGIC telescopes

Image Credit:


Like it? Share with your friends!

One Comment

Comments are closed.