Quasars are the most luminous objects in the Universe. Now, astronomers using the European Southern Observatory have found a quasar that’s more than five times more powerful than any previously seen. Astronomers on Earth first became aware that quasars existed in the 1950s. Back then, the term “quasar” meant “quasi-stellar radio source," because they looked like very bright points in the sky at radio frequencies. Now, we’ve come to understand that they are actually gargantuan sprays of matter and energy powered by super-massive black holes at the centers of young galaxies. Wait, I hear you say, don’t black holes suck matter in? Sure they do. But as they do, they tend to shred that matter apart… spinning it up … forcing it outward at very high speeds. Researchers have catalogued more than 200,000 of these objects. The very nearest one is more than 600 million light years away from Earth and most are at least 3 billion light years back in time-space. But this discovery is the first to confirm the theorists' predictions that these cosmic blowtorches could truly be this hot and bright. For SPACE.com. I’m Dave Brody
Astronomers have found a quasar that’s more than five times more powerful than any previously seen. Quasars are mega-bright geysers of matter and energy powered by super-massive black holes at the centers of young galaxies.
Credit: SPACE.com / ESO