Very curious - from Scientific American:
The Case of the Disappearing Quasars
Astronomers peering across the universe think they’ve caught a dozen quasars—extremely bright and distant objects powered by ravenous supermassive black holes at the centers of ancient galaxies—in a disappearing act. Or at least transitioning into their quiescent and dimmer counterparts: galaxies with starving black holes at their cores. The surprising find has astronomers asking whether these objects are shutting down permanently or simply flickering out for the time being.
Last year Stephanie LaMassa from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (then at Yale University) discovered the greatest change in luminosity ever detected in a quasar. She was digging through data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey when she found that a quasar had dimmed in brightness by a factor of six in just 10 years. Its spectrum changed, too, from that of a classic quasar to a regular galaxy.
The article continues to cite a bunch of theories but nothing concrete. Curious indeed!
I am reminded of the great Arthur C. Clarke short story: The Nine Billion Names of God
Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.
So... Who do we know is running a modified Mark V Automatic Sequence Computer?
Finally, I do not know if there has been a shift in the Scientific American management but it is nice to see them doing a 'hard science' article instead of the fscking puff-pieces they have been doing for the last fifteen years or so. I used to subscribe but dropped it when they shifted from real science to politically correct talking points. I could go on quite the tirade here but will not.