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Two new binary quasars discovered


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There are now 6 known double quasars.


A July 23, 2010 blog entry:

"...Given that there are only four binary quasars known previously, this was a pretty good day's work."


A quasar is already a pretty interesting object, but having a binary pair of quasars going around each other adds additional zest. Here is an earlier article on binary quasars:



A binary quasar is two supermassive black holes, each radiating a vast power output, that orbit each other. They can result when two galaxies (each with a central supermassive black hole) collide and merge into one galaxy, without their central black holes merging.


The supermassive black hole in our (Milky) galaxy is only a few million solar masses, and does not radiate (it is not a quasar.) Many observed supermassive black holes are much larger---like billions of solar masses.


Those that radiate do so because as they suck in the material around them it gets glowing hot. The hot material radiates and also gets ionized--- being charged some of it can then get diverted by the quasar's magnetic field and ejected in polar jets.


Hogg's discovery has not been confirmed, and it has not been published yet. He only just now announced it on his blog. I know some of his other work and have a high regard for him, so I'll gamble that this will be confirmed and we will see something in the professional literature about it before too long.

Edited by Martin
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