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Scientists Use Mismatch in Telescopic Data to Get a Handle on Quasars and Their ‘Tails’

13 Sep 2017, 21:19 UTC
Scientists Use Mismatch in Telescopic Data to Get a Handle on Quasars and Their ‘Tails’
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Scientists have determined the properties of unseen "tails" sticking out of supermassive black holes at the heart of active galactic nuclei by analyzing unexpected discrepancies between the data of high-precision observations conducted by an international network of radio telescopes and that of Gaia -- a space observatory of the European Space Agency carrying optical telescopes on board."It is no exaggeration to say that a new area of observational astrophysics has begun," says Yuri Kovalev who heads MIPT's Laboratory of Relativistic Astrophysics and a laboratory at the Lebedev Physical Institute (LPI) of the Russian Academy of Sciences. "By comparing the data from radio interferometers and optical telescopes, we can obtain information about hot jets and the accretion disks surrounding black holes at the center of galaxies in the visible part of the spectrum. We have now gained a better understanding of what their structure is and what processes occur inside them."Yuri Kovalev and Leonid Petrov from MIPT and LPI collaborated on a research paper, which has recently been published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, that analyzes the coordinates of active nuclei of remote galaxies obtained independently by very long baseline interferometry, or VLBI, and the Gaia space astrometry ...

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