Using the unique capabilities of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers has discovered the most energetic outflows ever witnessed in the universe. They emanate from quasars and tear across interstellar space like tsunamis, wreaking havoc on the galaxies in which the quasars live.

This illustration shows a distant galaxy with an active quasar at its center. A quasar emits exceptionally large amounts of energy generated by a supermassive black hole fueled by infalling matter. Using the unique capabilities of Hubble, astronomers have discovered that blistering radiation pressure from the vicinity of the black hole pushes material away from the galaxy’s center at a fraction of the speed of light. The “quasar winds” are propelling hundreds of solar masses of material each year. This affects the entire galaxy as the material snowplows into surrounding gas and dust.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA and J. Olmsted (STScI)


利用美国宇航局哈勃太空望远镜的独特功能,一组天文学家发现了迄今为止宇宙中所见过的最活跃的外流。它们来自类星体,像海啸一样穿越星际空间,对类星体所在的星系造成严重破坏。

这幅图显示的是一个遥远的星系,其中心有一个活动的类星体。类星体会释放出异常巨的能量,这些能量是由一个超大质量黑洞所产生,并以内流物质为燃料。利用哈勃望远镜的独特功能,天文学家发现,黑附近炽热的辐射压力将星系中心的物质以光速的几分之一推离。“类星体风”每年推动着数百个太阳质量的物质。这将影响整个星系,因为这些物质会像犁一样进入周围的气体和尘埃中。

图片来源:NASA,ESA和J. Olmsted(STScI)

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