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About The Quasars

Context:

An international team of astronomers said the recently discovered quasar named J0529-4351 was the brightest and fastest-growing quasar discovered so far and had a supermassive black hole about 17 billion times the mass of the Sun.

Relevance:

GS III: Science and Technology

Quasars:

  • A quasar is an extraordinarily active and luminous type of active galactic nucleus (AGN).

Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN):

  • AGN is characterized by a supermassive black hole actively feeding at the center of a galaxy.
  • Quasars are a specific subset of AGNs.

Formation and Location:

  • Quasars are believed to form in regions of the universe with higher-than-average large-scale matter density.

Attributes:

  • Among the most luminous, powerful, and vibrant objects known in the universe.
Formation Process:
  • Active galaxies have a central supermassive black hole consuming large amounts of matter.
  • Infall of matter creates a spiraling accretion disk, with material falling at varying speeds.
  • Friction and collisions among fast-moving gas clouds generate heat, leading to a brilliantly shining accretion disk.
  • Some material is funneled away from the black hole in a highly luminous, magnetically collimated jet.
  • The combination of the hot accretion disk and the jet results in the intense brightness of the active galaxy’s nucleus, making quasars visible across vast cosmic distances.
Brightness and Distance:
  • Brightest quasars can outshine all stars in their host galaxies, visible even at distances of billions of light-years.
  • Many quasars have been discovered billions of light-years away.

-Source: The Hindu


 

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