Quelling Questions About Quasars!

March 27, 2013 at 12:19 AM (astronomy topics, curious research, current news, extraterrestrial studies, late night studies, science and technology, web gossip) (, , , )

I am in the midst of one of my nerd sessions, currently studying information about quasars.  Actually, I am watching an episode of The Universe on H2.  This show is providing information about distant stars, how they are being discovered, details about their behavior, et cetera.  One part of the show elaborated upon details of quasars, including their behavior, how they are identified, and even the nearest one to Earth.  I was curious, so I had to look up additional details regarding the closest quasar.

Information on The Internet revealed that the first quasar that was recognized is 3C 273.  It is situated within Virgo Constellation, roughly 2.4 billion light years away from Earth!  3C 273 is supposed to be one of the brightest known quasars at this time, with an absolute magnitude of -26.7!  If this quasar was at a distance of thirty light years from Earth, it would be as bright as The Sun!

3C 273 ejects an energy beam of light from it’s core.  This beam, referred to as a visible jet, is roughly 200,000 light years long!  The beam is released from 3C 273, as this quasar is one of the objects currently recognized by astronomy studies as one of the most distant objects within the observable universe.

Quasar is the shortened version for the actual name of these celestial phenomena; quasi-stellar radio source.  These are radio-detected signals from regions of recent supernovae, or from distant areas where stars are being formed.  It is believed that quasars actually are the central regions of the most distant galaxies that can be detected.

Apparently, not all quasars emit radio waves.  That detail likely is confusing, due to the actual name of the quasar.  However, those that do produce radio emissions called synchotron radiation.  The actual quasars are situated closely within magnetic from which these radio waves are released.

As quasars are recognized to be within the most distantly observable galaxies, their observation is a trip backward through spacetime.  The nearest observable quasar to Earth is PKS 2349-014.  It is estimated to be located  at a distance of 1,500 million light years from our world.  This quasar has two thin streams of stellar material, wisps, that surround it.  PSK 2349-014 is situated within the core of a distant, elliptical galaxy.

Some studies reveal that PKS 2349-014 interacts with a companion galaxy, likely set to merge with this galaxy at a future point.  The nearby galaxy currently is estimated to be at a distance of three kiloparsecs from the core of PKS 2349-014.  These wisps are covered by a nebulous region, which appears to cover the entire quasar.

Interesting!  I find the studies of the cosmos, and all that is being learned about the universe beyond our Earth, to be completely fascinating!  Quasars are another intriguing aspect to the ever-intriguing universe of which we are slowly learning more and more about.  Indeed, it was August 5, 1962 when the first quasar was identified by British astronomer Cyril Hazard while working with The University of Sydney.















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