Report

A Molecular Einstein Ring: Imaging a Starburst Disk Surrounding a Quasi-Stellar Object

Science  02 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5620, pp. 773-775
DOI: 10.1126/science.1082600

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Abstract

Images of the molecular CO 2-1 line emission and the radio continuum emission from the redshift 4.12 gravitationally lensed quasi-stellar object (QSO) PSS J2322+1944 reveal an Einstein ring with a diameter of 1.5″. These observations are modeled as a star-forming disk surrounding the QSO nucleus with a radius of 2 kiloparsecs. The implied massive star formation rate is 900 solar masses per year. At this rate, a substantial fraction of the stars in a large elliptical galaxy could form on a dynamical time scale of 108 years. The observation of active star formation in the host galaxy of a high-redshift QSO supports the hypothesis of coeval formation of supermassive black holes and stars in spheroidal galaxies.

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