|Observation data (J2000 epoch)|
|Right ascension||12h 56s|
|Declination||+56° 51′ 59″|
|Apparent magnitude (V)||13.60|
|UGC 8058, Mrk 231, Mkn 231, Markarian 231, MCG+10-19-004, ZW VII 490, PGC 44117|
Markarian 231 (UGC 8058) is a Type-1 Seyfert galaxy that was discovered in 1969 as part of a search of galaxies with strong ultraviolet radiation. It contains the nearest known quasar, and in 2015 it was shown that the powerful active galactic nucleus present in the center of the galaxy may in fact be a supermassive binary black hole. It is located about 581 million light years away from Earth.
The galaxy is now undergoing an energetic starburst. A nuclear ring of active star formation has been found in the center with a rate of formation greater than 100 solar masses per year. It is one of the most ultraluminous infrared galaxies with power derived from an accreting black hole in the center, and the closest known quasar. A 2015 study has found that the central black hole, estimated to be 150 million times the mass of our Sun, has a black hole companion weighing in at 4 million solar masses, and the duo completes an orbit around each other every 1.2 years. Subsequently, that model has been definitively shown to be unfeasible.
- "HubbleSite - NewsCenter - Hubble Finds That the Nearest Quasar Is Powered by a Double Black Hole (08/27/2015) - The Full Story". hubblesite.org. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
- "Artist's concept of double black hole". Retrieved 31 August 2015.
- Markarian 231 at ESA
- SpaceRef Feb 23, 2011 Quasar's Belch Solves Longstanding Mystery, from Gemini North Observatory, ApJ March 2011, to be published.
- Chang-Shuo Yan, Youjun Lu, Xinyu Dai, and Qingjuan Yu. "A probable milli-parsec supermassive binary black hole in the nearest quasar MRK 231" 2015 August 14 The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 809, Iss. 2 doi:10.1088/0004-637X/809/2/117
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