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Douglas Isbell
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Peter Michaud
International Gemini Observatory
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Image caption:

Download:
Low Resolution jpg file [8 KB]
Medium Resolution jpg file [19 KB]
High resolution jpg file [52 KB]
High resolution tiff file [3.3 MB]

This image of quasar PG1411+442 was obtained by Olivier Guyon using the University of Hawaii's adaptive optics system called Hokupa'a, mounted on the Gemini North 8-meter telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

The quasar is the bright, overexposed object in the center of the picture. Two tidal arms can be seen extending upward and downward from the quasar, suggesting strongly that the host galaxy of PG1411+442 is the product of a relatively recent galactic merger. A faint elongated companion can be seen at the end of the upward tidal tail, which may be debris from the galactic interaction. A very small faint companion galaxy is visible to the lower left - it is also likely a part of this interacting system

PG1411+442 belongs to a class of Quasi-Stellar Objects (QSOs), or quasars, called Infrared-Loud QSOs, which are characterized by strong infrared luminosity. It has been suspected that QSOs are the result of galaxy interactions, where the merger would first be seen as an Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxy (ULIG), and later as a QSO. Infrared-Loud QSOs would then represent the transition period between those two classes. These observations of PG1411+442 fit very well with this theory.

Credit: Gemini Observatory/National Science Foundation/University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy

Image caption:

Download:
Low Resolution jpg file [15 KB]
Medium Resolution jpg file [37 KB]
High resolution jpg file [108 KB]
High resolution tiff file [9.7 MB]

This image is a smoothed version of an image of quasar PG1411+442 obtained by Olivier Guyon using the University of Hawaii's adaptive optics system called Hokupa`a, mounted on the Gemini North 8-meter telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii, with a color scale added to highlight underlying details.

The quasar is the bright, overexposed object in the center of the picture. Two tidal arms can be seen extending upward and downward from the quasar, suggesting strongly that the host galaxy of PG1411+442 is the product of a relatively recent galactic merger. A faint elongated companion can be seen at the end of the upward tidal tail, which may be debris from the galactic interaction. A very small faint companion galaxy is visible to the lower left - it is also likely a part of this interacting system

PG1411+442 belongs to a class of Quasi-Stellar Objects (QSOs), or quasars, called Infrared-Loud QSOs, which are characterized by strong infrared luminosity. It has been suspected that QSOs are the result of galaxy interactions, where the merger would first be seen as an Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxy, and later as a QSO. Infrared-Loud QSOs would then represent the transition period between those two classes. These observations of PG1411+442 fit very well with this theory.

Credit: Gemini Observatory/National Science Foundation/University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy

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