What is a Quasar?

Quasars are greater and brighter than the Sun and obtain their energy from black holes.
Quasars are greater and brighter than the Sun and obtain their energy from black holes.

A quasar derives its name from “Quasi-stellar radio source,” referring to objects that are in the universe, produces a lot of heat and also illuminates hence are visible from the Earth despite being the furthest foreign bodies from the Earth. These bodies are greater and brighter than the Sun and obtain their energy from black holes. The Quasar was first discovered in 1930 by a physicist known as Karl Jansky who could not tell clearly what they were due to lack of equipment. In 1950, astronomers were able to see and explain more clearly the Quasar bodies. They used radio telescopes and discovered that the Quasar was surrounded by gas. The researchers have found out that they are at the center of upcoming galaxies hence the ability to remit robust radio waves.

The Early Discoveries of the Quasar

In the 1950s and early 1960s, the astronomers detected two Quasar and named them 3C-48 and 3C-273. Seen to have angular shape and size, more of these objects were discovered in 1960 and documented by Allan Sandage and Thomas A Matthews. The quasar was further subdivided into "radio loud" and "radio quiet," both having the ability to convert high-level energy through a process of nuclear fusion.

The Einstein’s theory of relativity was developed in 1970. The theory foretold the impact of gravity on the quasar. Fast forward in the 1980s with the assistance of more sophisticated equipment, the astronomers were able to come up with one explanation and description of the Quasar. The model is that quasars are a type of object in the galaxy and the different views are because of the point from which one views the Quasar. These objects are reducing due to eating up all the gas and dust surrounding it.

How Does The Quasar Emit Light?

The energy produced by quasars is in million and trillions of electron volts depending on the size. This energy is more than that transmitted by all stars combined. The quasar is, therefore, the brightest objects in the sky, only that there are far away from the Earth.

Though it is impossible for light to escape from the black hole, some flashes can escape through the edges. While other pieces are moved away from the speed of light, dirt and gas will automatically get into the black hole. These smaller bodies get out of the black hole beneath and above it and are taken away by the acceleration which is rated the highest on Earth. It is estimated that all the quasars are billions of light years from the Earth. The Milky Way is believed to have hosted more than 2,000 quasars which have run dormant over time hence not visible.


The quasars are classified in the family tree of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). This is because they can only be powered by high-level black holes. Other related classifications are Seyfert which emits lesser energy at 100-kilo electron volts and blazar galaxies which requires high voltage. The quasars are also very far away from the Earth an estimated one billion light years, meaning that when we look at them using a telescope what we actually see is how they looked like back one billion years. Others are as far as thirteen billion light years meaning what we see is not their current status.


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