The Quasar is a part of our solar system that you’re going to want to learn about – many people don’t truly know what a Quasar is, and how it relates to other objects. However, they’re most certainly one of the most interesting parts of our night sky. Let’s look at some facts about Quasars so you can learn a little more about them.
- Quasars are well known for being the most luminous objects in our entire universe.
- They are even more luminous than several galaxies combined together! In comparison to our Milky Way, they can be anywhere from 10 to 100,000 times as bright.
- But in comparison to their luminosity, Quasars are actually not that large. The average size of a Quasar is a similar size to our solar system (which is big to us, but small in comparison to the universe!).
- We first discovered Quasars all the way back in the 1960s. The first Quasar was discovered by an astronomer named Allan Sandage.
- However fast forward to now, and more than 500,000 Quasars have been discovered in our universe.
- Like stars, Quasars won’t last forever. They live for a period of time, and then eventually die.
- However, quasars can grow very old, and they make up some of the oldest objects in our universe.
- The nearest Quasar to our planet Earth is name Markarian 231, and it is approximately 581 million years away from us.
- There are many different ways that we can categorize a quasar. A good example of this is a radio-quiet quasar, which has a low radio transmission. These make up the majority of quasars.
- It’s thought that our galaxy, the Milky Way, may have been host to a quasar approximately 6 billion years ago.
- Like other active galactic nuclei, Quasars rely on supermassive black holes to generate enough power for them.
Common Questions about Quasars
Is a Quasar a star?
A Quasar is not a star. In fact, it’s name actually originates from the words quasi-stellar object, which means star-like. However, a Quasar is not the same as a star, instead being described as a galactic nucleus. However, if you were to look at a Quasar from Earth, then you could potentially mistake it for looking like a star.
How are Quasars formed?
Quasars are formed as a result of supermassive black holes generating enough power for them to fall in the accretion disc. However, this only happens when a galaxy is powerful enough to generate this kind of power, which is only the case with galaxies that collide together, or in some cases, younger galaxies.
What would happen if a Quasar was in our solar system?
If a quasar was in our solar system, then there’s no question that we’d all be dead! Remember that a quasar is the brightest object in our night sky – the illumination from the quasar would completely change the Earth’s atmosphere, which means that everything would be ruined – most of all our oxygen would disappear! Here’s a great video about Quasars that explains things in more detail.
Why are Quasars so bright?
Quasars are generally thought to be the result of galaxies and their two black holes colliding together. When these black holes join, they throw out this material which begins to glow due to the vast amount of pressure. This is why quasars are so bright.
How hot are quasars?
There’s no definitive answer for how hot a quasar could be, as they’re all going to be different temperatures. However, astronomers have estimated that at the heart of some quasars, temperatures could be in excess of 10 trillion degrees.
All in all, these are just some of the most interesting facts that you can learn about quasars. Although we know a lot more about them now than we once did, there is still a lot for us to learn about these high luminous objects found in the depths of our solar system.