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August 12, 2020
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August 12, 2020

What is a quasar classified as?

A quasar is classified as…a quasar. However, see below.

Quasars are believed to produce their energy from supermassive black holes in the center of the galaxies in which the quasars are located. Because quasars are so bright, they outshine the light from the host galaxy.

Quasars are now believed to be the most energetic and distant members of a class of objects, called active galactic nuclei (AGN).

When material gets too close to the supermassive black hole, it forms an accretion disk around the black hole. This causes it to heat up tremendously, blasting out an enormous amount of radiation. The magnetic environment around the black hole gives rise to twin jets of material which flow out into space for millions of light years. Astronomers believe this is what is an AGN.

When the jets are at an angle to our view, we see a quasar. If they’re perpendicular, we see a radio galaxy. And when we’re viewing right down the barrel of the jet, we see a blazar. It’s the same object, seen from three different perspectives.

 

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