Astronomers discover the farthest Gamma-ray emitting active galaxy

The scientists from Aryabhatta Research Institute have discovered a new galaxy that emits gamma rays. The galaxy has been categorised as Narrow Line Seyfert 1 (NLS1). However, it is unique and different from the other NLS1s discovered so far.

About NLS1

  • It is 31 billion light years away from the earth. The galaxy is located at a high redshift.
  • The galaxy was discovered when scientists tried to trace red shifted galaxies. The redshifted galaxies are those galaxies that emit longer wavelength. As the wavelength of light gets longer the light turns redder. This is termed as “redshifted” in astronomy.
  • The discovery was made when scientists were studying about 25,000 luminous Active Galactic Nuclei.
  • The Sloan Digital Sky Survey was used during the study that discovered the galaxy.
  • The researchers used Subaru Telescope located in Hawaii, USA to conduct their study.

How is the newly discovered NLS1 different from the other NLS1?

  • The discovery of NLS1 has challenged the idea of how relativistic jets are formed. Relativistic Jets are ionised matter that travel at speed of light. They are associated with Quasars, pulsars, neutron stars. They are produced by Active Galactic Nuclei. These nuclei are powered by large black holes in giant elliptical galaxies. However, NLS1 discovered recently is a unique Active Galactic Nuclei that is powered by a black hole of low mass.
  • The NLS1s discovered so far that emitted gamma rays were at lower redshifts. This is the first gamma emitting NLS1 discovered to be at higher redshift.
  • The newly discovered gamma ray emitting NLS1 is 13.8 billion years old. It was formed when the universe was 4.7 billion years old.

Way forward

The discovery has opened up a new study to find gamma ray emitting NLS1 galaxies.

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