Quasars Found: Most Distant Objects Ever Seen
Posted: Wednesday, June 6, 2001
(ABC Science) The announcement today at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society marks the fourth time the Sloan Digital Sky Survey has pushed closer to the birth of the universe some 13 billion years ago.
"Our vision has consistently pressed deeper and deeper in time, and now we’re within 800 million years," said Donald Schneider of Pennsylvania State University.
Earlier discoveries were about a billion years away from the birth of the universe.
Quasars are galaxies with very active and bright center objects, thought to be powered by black holes. They can shine with the brilliance of a trillion suns.
The Sloan project, a five-year, $80 million undertaking, seeks to digitally survey the sky, map the universe and define its structure in three dimensions. It uses telescopes atop Apache Point, N.M.
Astronomers also heralded the first release of data from the survey today. The data consists of precision measurements of 14 million objects scattered throughout the universe. Included are more than 13,000 quasars, including 26 of the 30 most distant known.
Astronomers expect to release the full set of data over the next five years. It will be the biggest flood of information in the history of astronomy. More
Send page by E-Mail