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Quasar HE0450-2958, after advanced image processing
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- Title Quasar HE0450-2958, after advanced image processing
- Released 13/09/2005 11:31 am
- Copyright NASA/ESA/ESO - Frédéric Courbin (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland) & Pierre Magain (Universite de Liege, Belgium)
This image shows the quasar HE0450-2958 after advanced image processing known as MCS-deconvolution. Thanks to this technique, it is possible to remove the brilliant glare from the quasar itself.
The most interesting feature in the image is the nearly total absence of starlight from a host galaxy. The processing also reveals an interesting smaller cloud of gas next to the quasar, about 2500 light-years wide, which scientists call 'the blob'. VLT observations show this cloud to be glowing because it is bathed in the intense radiation coming from the quasar. Most likely, it is the gas from this ‘blob’ that feeds the super-massive black hole, thereby allowing it to shine as a quasar.