During the joint observations carried out by the Chandra X-ray telescope and the Gemini Observatory, astronomers managed to obtain an image of the galaxy 3C 297. It surprised researchers with its “loneliness”.
3C 297 is located at a distance of 9.2 billion light-years from Earth. Thus, we saw it as it was during the youth of our Universe.
The galaxy has very unusual characteristics. It contains a quasar (an active supermassive black hole) that emits powerful jets visible in the radio range. As for the environment of 3C 297, it is very similar to galactic clusters. So, the galaxy is surrounded by a large amount of gas heated to a temperature of millions of degrees. The jet produced by 3C 297 crashes into it, creating a “hot spot” of X-ray radiation. This is also quite typical for galaxy clusters.
However, there is one important feature in the case of the 3C 297. The galaxy is in space in proud loneliness, having no close neighbors. Perhaps it has some small dwarf companions that are too small to be seen by telescopes. But still, the absence of other large galaxies next to it looks strange.
According to the researchers, there was once a cluster at the site of 3C 297. However, the gravitational attraction of the largest galaxy, combined with the interactions between them, led to the fact that the companion galaxies gradually merged with it into a single whole. Thus, 3C 297 should not be called a cluster of galaxies, but a “fossil group”. To date, this is the most distant such object found by astronomers. The previous record holders are at a distance of 4.9 and 7.9 billion light years
You can also read about the galaxy found by the James Webb Telescope in the early Universe, in which several generations of stars have already changed.
According to https://www.nasa.gov
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