Active galaxies point to new physics of cosmic expansion

Investigating the history of our cosmos with a large sample of distant 'active' galaxies observed by ESA's XMM-Newton, a team of astronomers found there might be more to the early expansion of the universe than predicted ...

Gravitationally lensed quasars

The path of light is bent by mass, an effect predicted by Einstein's theory of gravity, and when a massive galaxy or cluster lies along our line-of-sight to a more distant galaxy its matter will act as a lens to image the ...

Double or nothing—astronomers rethink quasar environment

Using Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) mounted on the Subaru Telescope, astronomers have identified nearly 200 "protoclusters," the progenitors of galaxy clusters, in the early universe, about 12 billion years ago, about ten times ...

Einstein's Cross under the gravitational microlens

A Spanish research team has obtained measurements for the innermost region of a disc of matter in orbital motion around a supermassive black hole in the quasar known as Einstein's Cross (Q2237-0305). It constitutes the most ...

A new technique to gauge the distant universe

Scientists have developed a technique to use quasars – powerful sources driven by supermassive black holes at the centre of galaxies – to study the universe's history and composition. To demonstrate the new method, based ...

Image: Hubble sees elegant spiral hiding a hungry monster

NGC 4639 is a beautiful example of a type of galaxy known as a barred spiral. It lies over 70 million light-years away in the constellation of Virgo and is one of about 1,500 galaxies that make up the Virgo Cluster.

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