New Hubble pics – how exciting! The latest of the new Hubble pics is of a black hole, which they’ve captioned as being in need of a home.
To get these new Hubble pics a team of astronomers, all from Europe, combined the power of the Hubble Space Telescope with that of the VLT (Very Large Telescope at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Cerro Paranal.
The new Hubble telescope pics are of a bright quasar that has no discernible host galaxy. The new pics show several quasars, strong radiation sources. The astronomers honed in on these quasars to study them by way of the Hubble because they know that quasars are often associated with active black holes. Only one of the many quasars they found delivered a black hole without a galaxy. Thus the new Hubble telescope pics.
Other new pics show the other quasars that these European astronomers found. In one you can clearly see the black hole’s host galaxy with its large spiraling tendrils.
In the past ten years the problem getting new Hubble telescope pics of black holes has been that the quasar shines so much more brilliantly than the host galaxy that observers can’t always see, or get new pics of, the black hole and its galaxy. This problem has been resolved now so new Hubble telescope pics of host galaxies are possible.
With the recent observation of 20 quasars, 19 were found to have host galaxies. One did not. What this means is that if the host galaxy really does exist it has to be no more than one sixth the brightness of traditional host galaxies, or have a radius that is at least 20 times smaller than most host galaxies. New Hubble telescope pics of this find are being studied now.