The Department of Science and Technology recently disclosed that Astronomers have found a new active galaxy identified as the farthest gamma-ray emitting galaxy. This galaxy is known as the Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 (NLS1) galaxy and is about 31 billion light-years away and opens up avenues to find more such gamma-ray emitting galaxies. Ever since Edwin Hubble in 1929, discovered that the universe is expanding, it has come to people’s knowledge that most other galaxies are moving away from us. The statement explained that the light from these galaxies is shifted to longer (and this means redder) wavelengths and scientists have been trying to trace such red-shifted galaxies. Scientists from Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), a DST institute partnered with researchers from other institutions and studied around 25,000 luminous Active galactic nuclei (AGN) from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). They found a unique object that releases high-energy gamma rays situated at a high redshift (more than 1). They identified this as a gamma-ray emitting NLS1 galaxy, which is a rarity in space. Strong relativistic jets, or sources of particles in the universe traveling nearly at the speed of light, are generally produced by AGN powered by large black holes and hosted in a giant elliptical galaxy, informed the department. However, the detection of gamma-ray emission from NLS1 poses a challenge to the idea of how relativistic jets are formed. This is because NLS1s are a unique category of AGN that are powered by black hole of low mass and hosted in spiral galaxy. The Department of Science and Technology mentioned that so far, gamma-ray emission has been spotted in about a dozen NLS1 galaxies, which are a separate category of AGN identified 40 years ago. All of them are at redshifts lesser than one, and no method exists to date to find NLS1 at redshifts larger than one. This discovery paves the way for a new method to explore gamma-ray emitting NLS1 galaxies in the early Universe. The scientists used one of the largest ground-based telescopes in the world for research. They helped establish a new technique to find high redshift NLS1 galaxies that were previously unknown, by comparing different emission lines in their spectra. The formation of new gamma-ray emitting NLS1 happened when the Universe was about 4.7 billion years old as compared to its current age of about 13.8 billion years. The research was led by Suvendu Rakshit, a scientist at ARIES, in collaboration with other scientists from Japan, the USA, Finland, and South Korea.
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