Number 298 (Story #2), December 4, 1996 by Phillip F. Schewe and Ben Stein|
SOME QUASARS SEEM TO BE IGNITED IN GALAXY COLLISIONS. The prevalent view of quasars is that their tremendous brightness is fueled by matter falling toward a massive black hole and, furthermore, that the matter is supplied by a host galaxy. This view has been certified to a growing degree in recent years by Hubble Space Telescope observations which succeed in making out the surrounding galaxies through the quasars' glare. New Hubble images, released at a recent NASA press conference, show that the galaxies harboring quasars come in a variety of shapes. Many of the quasars studied were located at the point where two galaxies were colliding, suggesting that some quasars are born or re-kindled by the fresh fuel supplied by the merger.