Quasars

The picture below is from a Don Dixon painting used for a Scientific American cover in June, 1998. It illustrates what we believe the appearance of a quasar would be like.

According to Wikipedia a quasar (contraction of QUASi-stellAR radio sources) is an astronomical object that looks like a star in optical telescopes (i.e. it is a point source), and has a very high redshift.

Quasars are very interesting because they don't act like anything else that we know of. For example, it is believed that quasars are the most distant objects in the Universe that we're aware of. This belief is based on the extreme red shift in the radiation we receive from them. This distance means that the light we perceive would have been generated billions of years ago--they're that far away.

Oddly enough quasars also would seem to be small--though that's a relative term. Since an average quasar puts out more energy than 10 typical galaxies anything smaller than a galaxy is small for that power output. Quasars also change their energy output and at a speed fast enough for us to be aware of. That's another indicator of small size.

Well, I'd best go to bed. For some reason I was just thinking about quasars.

Comments

Teresa said…
Well... Hmmm...

Quasars, huh?

And you are going to bed?

I'm confused....
Oreo said…
It am all way purrty too Dave.....
Diane Mandy said…
I guess it's better than thinking about quaaludes, or is it? :-)
No_Newz said…
Losing sleep over quasars, huh? I can honestly say that is the first time I have ever heard of that sort of thing. I guess it's better than thinking about Uranus. (you saw that one coming didn't you?)
Lois Lane
rashbre said…
stellar!
Claire said…
That's an impressive picture! And really interesting facts...I should pay more attention to these things!
Pearl said…
March then December? Flashback or computer crash?
kenju said…
I think about quasars too, Utenzi, and I hear in my head the old commercial for them.....Quaaaaaay-saaaaaars! Are we weird?

At current gas prices, no one will make off with the car we drove up here (my daughter's Expedition). At a whopping 10 mpg - no one would want it, would they?

I worded my post oddly - we drove up, my granddaughter(her niece) and I are flying back to Raleigh, and my daughter will drive back to her new home.
Keb said…
So it appears that many, many posts have disappeared. Everything is good I'm hoping.
Ciera said…
I lvoe the pic! Thanks for posting it! :)
kenju said…
Dave, I left a comment on this post while in was in NYC, but it isn't here. Now I am thinking that maybe none of my comments reached anyone while I was posting from another computer. I wonder why that happened?
kenju said…
Okay, this is where I left a comment while I was in NY. Let's see if this one gets posted.
MissMeliss said…
Maybe the demotion of Pluto sparked this line of thinking?

Even if not, quasars are fascinating, and I love the image.
panthergirl said…
Hey DAve... just clicked in from the Cyberia post, to make sure the link works. It does!!
-t- said…
Hey there,
why did you remove so many posts? And why haven't you been posting for so long?
Hope you had a great summer and everything is fine. Been extremely busy myself and thought it was a glitch when I dropped in previously and saw the last post was from end of March!?
Have a great day!
Noi Rocker said…
What a beautiful picture. I always feel like like I am reading my science textbook from school whenever I visit your blog. Hehe.

Here for a visit since I havent done that in a long time!

Hope all is well!
Blond Girl said…
funny, when I think of a quasar I think of a TV...
Yaeli said…
I have tried to post comments on this post before and it's failed but i will try again.
Where have you gone Dave? I miss you?
Michael Manning said…
Utenzi:Has to be the most creative thought I've read today. Itmade me remember Quasar brand TV commercials when I was a tot! Cool!
Carmi said…
Thanks for taking the time to explain Quasars. I love astronomy. When I was in Colorado, I was privileged to attend a showing at the Gates Planetarium in Denver. Flying through the universe nearly blew my mind. I've got to spend more time reading about this. Sigh...

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