Home > Astronomy, Cosmology, General Astronomy, Quasars > Quasars: Mileposts Marking The Universe’s Expansion

Quasars: Mileposts Marking The Universe’s Expansion


Scientists can’t travel deep space the way Columbus sailed and charted the New World or Lewis and Clark mapped the west. But, researchers at Case Western Reserve University and two partnering institutions have found a possible way to map the spread and structure of the universe, guided by the light of quasars.

The technique, combined with the expected discovery of millions more far-away quasars over the next decade, could yield an unprecedented look back to a time shortly after the Big Bang, when the universe was a fraction the size it is today.

Researchers found the key while analyzing the visible light from a small group of quasars. Patterns of light variation over time were consistent from one quasar to another when corrected for the quasar’s redshift. This redshift occurs because an expanding universe carries the quasars away from us, thus making the light from them appear redder (hence the term), and also making the time variations appear to occur more slowly.

Full Story: http://blog.case.edu/think/2012/09/18/quasars_mileposts_marking_the_universeas_expansion

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