Q: Who killed the Star Formation? A: The AGN did it.

One of the neat things about being a professional astronomer is sometimes knowing the authors of neat papers. Submitted to the arXiv on Friday was one such neat paper with an author list full of people I respect from their work and 1 collaborator. So let’s just say this is all neat and move on to the science. So here is the paper. On a quick read, this is just another paper on what happens to gas when and star formation when an AGN gets involved. If you’ve listened to many episodes of Astronomy Cast, you might have heard me explain this before. AGN (short for Active Galactic Nuclei) are actively feeding black holes in the centers of galaxies. These giant monsters are capable of calmly devouring vast quantities of gas and dust with accretion rates (the...

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Unifying Concepts and Language

Astronomy is filled with ideas that share too many different names. For instance, an Quasar is also a QSO is also an Active Galactic Nuclei. In our solar system, where we once had a bunch of specific objects, we now have terrestrial planets, gaseous planets, asteroids, and icy bodies (and 1 star too). As science starts to understand more and more about our universe, we’re finding that more and more of the things we used to break into many small groups are really different versions of the same object just seen from different vantages or in different environments. This is scientifically a wonderful thing: Being able to understand what a black hole that is actively feeding looks like as a function of feeding rate and angle of view allows us to say something...

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When Galaxies interact, it’s Not all Fun and Games

When Galaxies interact, it’s Not all Fun and Games

qqqcol3icon2.jpgToday’s round of press conference started with the story of three systems that have mutually triggered fireworks in one another’s cores. Specifically, a gravitationally bound system of three quasars has been located at a distance of roughly 10.4 billion light years (z = 2.076). This is the first such triple quasar system that has been located.

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