Astronomers using the Gemini North and Keck telescopes, on Maunakea, have discovered two Quasars that are on the verge of merging to produce a giant elliptical galaxy.
These quasars are thought to have formed when the Universe was a mere 3 billion years old.
Seeing two such quasars in the process of merging is rare, let alone catching them in the act so soon after the birth of the Universe. This remarkable discovery by Gemini North (a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab) was confirmed by follow up observations using the W.M Keck Observatory, NSF’s Very Large Array, and NASA’s Chandra X-Ray observatory. For more details see the NOIRLab press release.