|Cloverleaf, H1413+117, QSO 1415+1129|
|Observation data (Epoch J2000)|
|Right ascension||14 h 15 m 46.27 s|
|Declination||+11° 29 ′ 43.4 ″|
|Apparent magnitude (V)||17|
|Notable features||Four-image lens, bright CO emission|
|QSO J1415+1129 , QSO B1413+1143 , H 1413+117 , Clover Leaf Quasar|
|See also: Quasar, List of quasars|
Molecular gas (notably CO) detected in the host galaxy associated with the quasar is the oldest molecular material known and provides evidence of large-scale star formation in the early universe. Thanks to the strong magnification provided by the foreground lens, the Cloverleaf is the brightest known source of CO emission at high redshift and was also the first source at a redshift z = 2.56 to be detected with HCN or HCO+ emission. The 4 quasar images were originally discovered in 1984; in 1988, they were determined to be a single quasar split into four images, instead of 4 separate quasars. The X-rays from iron atoms were also enhanced relative to X-rays at lower energies. Since the amount of brightening due to gravitational lensing doesn't vary with the wavelength, this means that an additional object has magnified the X-rays. The increased magnification of the X-ray light can be explained by gravitational microlensing, an effect which has been used to search for compact stars and planets in our galaxy. Microlensing occurs when a star or a multiple star system passes in front of light from a background object. If a single star or a multiple star system in one of the foreground galaxies passed in front of the light path for the brightest image, then that image would be selectively magnified.
The X-rays would be magnified much more than the visible light, if they came from a smaller region around the central supermassive black hole of the lensing galaxy than did the visible light. The enhancement of the X-rays from iron ions would be due to this same effect. The analysis indicates that the X-rays are coming from a very small region, about the size of the solar system, around the central black hole. The visible light is coming from a region ten or more times larger. The angular size of these regions at a distance of 11 billion light years is tens of thousands times smaller than the smallest region that can be resolved by the Hubble Space Telescope. This provides a way to test models for the flow of gas around a supermassive black hole.
The Cloverleaf quasar was discovered in 1988. Data on the Cloverleaf collected by the Chandra X-ray Observatory in 2004 was compared with that gathered by optical telescopes. One of the X-ray components (A) in the Cloverleaf is brighter than the others in both optical and X-ray light but was to be relatively brighter in X-ray than in optical light. The X-rays from iron atoms were also enhanced relative to X-rays at lower energies.
- S. Venturini; P. M. Solomon (2003). "The Molecular Disk in the Cloverleaf Quasar". Astrophysical Journal. 590: 740–745. arXiv: . Bibcode:2003ApJ...590..740V. doi:10.1086/375050.
- P. Solomon; P. Vanden Bout; C. Carilli; M. Guelin (2003). "The Essential Signature of a Massive Starburst in a Distant Quasar". Nature. 426 (6967): 636–638. arXiv: . Bibcode:2003Natur.426..636S. doi:10.1038/nature02149. PMID 14668856.
- D. A. Riechers; et al. (2006). "First Detection of HCO+ Emission at High Redshift". Astrophysical Journal Letters. 645: L13–L16. arXiv: . Bibcode:2006ApJ...645L..13R. doi:10.1086/505908.
- R. Barvainis; L. Tacconi; R. Antonucci; D. Alloin; P. Coleman (2002). "Extremely strong carbon monoxide emission from the Cloverleaf quasar at a redshift of 2.5". Nature. 371 (6498): 586–588. Bibcode:1994Natur.371..586B. doi:10.1038/371586a0.
- C. M. Bradford; et al. (2009). "The Warm Molecular Gas Around the Cloverleaf Quasar". Astrophysical Journal. 705 (1): 112. arXiv: . Bibcode:2009ApJ...705..112B. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/705/1/112.
- Chandra at Havard CfA, "Cloverleaf Quasar: Chandra Looks Over a Cosmic Four-Leaf Clover", 20 February 2009