Quasars are distant galaxies in the universe which consist of black holes many times larger than the Sun and surrounded by thick gaseous matter.
In a major revelation, a set of international astronomers has been able to discover 12 rare quasars with each one of them offering four unique and distinct quadruple images which are commonly also known as the Einstein’s cross. The discovery is very significant as it has the potential to enhance the understanding of scientists about the expansion of the universe and unravel other mysteries surrounding the dark matter, the Indian Express reported.
The group of scientists which discovered the quasars also include an Indian PhD student Priyanka Jalan. The scientists who were associated with the Gaia Gravitational Lenses Working Group (GraL) combined multiple telescopes and the resultant observations from the telescopes confirmed the discovery. It is pertinent to understand that the first quasar image came to light way back in the year 1985 and since then scientists world over were able to only identify 50 such quasars. With the discovery of new 12 quasars by the scientists this time, the number of quasars has increased by almost 25 percent in one go.
What are quasars?
Quasars are distant galaxies in the universe which consist of black holes many times larger than the Sun and surrounded by thick gaseous matter. Apart from helping us determine the evolution of galaxies and to understand the rate of expansion of our universe. Priyanka Jalan who is a PhD student at Nainital’s Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) told the Indian Express that discoveries of more such quasar quadruples can help scientists actually calculate the rate of expansion of our universe. Jalan also said that the closest among the newly discovered 12 quasars was the one located 5,000 mega parsecs away.
Enthused by the discovery made by the scientists, the scientists and researchers at ARIES, Nainital have started looking for newer quasar observation with the help of the institute’s own 3.6m Devasthal Optical Observatory (DOT).