Quasi-Stellar Radio Source
A Quasar is an enormously bright object at the
edge of our universe with the appearance of a star when viewed
through a telescope. It emits massive amounts of energy, more
energy than 100 normal galaxies combined. The name comes from a
shortening of quasi-stellar radio source (QSR). Current theories
hold that quasars are one type of active galactic nuclei (AGN).
Many astronomers believe supermassive black holes may lie at the
center of these galaxies and power their explosive energy
output. In one second, a typical quasar releases enough energy
to satisfy the electrical energy needs of Earth for the next
It is thought by many astronomers that quasars
are the most distant objects yet detected in the Universe. With
the massive amounts of energy a quasar emits, it can be a
trillion times brighter than our own sun.
Because of this, they often drown out the light
from all other stars in the same galaxy. Yet, despite this, they
are not visible to the naked eye.
Quasars were first detected in the 1960s as
sources of radio waves. In addition to radio waves and visible
light, quasars also emit ultraviolet rays, infrared waves,
X-rays, and gamma-rays. Most quasars are larger than our solar
system. A quasar is approximately 1 kiloparsec in width. Because
of their distance, when we view quasars, we are seeing light
from very early in the life of our universe, giving scientists
information about the early stages of the Universe.