Saturday, October 08, 2022

Quasar: Animation | European Space Agency/Hubble

Quasar: Animation | European Space Agency/Hubble

Quasar: a very bright object in space that is similar to a star and very far away from Earth. A quasar gives off powerful radio waves. A quasar is so bright that it drowns out the light from all stars in the same galaxy. Quasars give off more energy than 100 normal galaxies combined.     

Because quasars are so far away from us, it takes billions of years for the light they give off to reach Earth. The light stays the same, it just has to travel a long time to get to us. When we look at a quasar, it is like we are looking back in time. The light we see today is what the quasar looked like billions of years ago. Some scientists think that when they study quasars they are studying the beginning of the universe.

Quasars give off huge amounts of energy. They can be a trillion times brighter than the Sun! Astronomers think that quasars are located in galaxies which have black holes at their centers. The black holes may provide quasars with their energy. The word quasar is short for quasi-stellar radio source. Quasars give off radio waves, X-rays, gamma-rays, ultraviolet rays, and visible light. Most of them are larger than our solar system.

Despite their brightness, due to their great distance from Earth, no quasars can be seen with an unaided eye.

Credit: European Space Agency (ESA)/Hubble (M. Kornmesser & L. L. Christensen)

Duration: 30 seconds

Release Date: February 16, 2016

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