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Thursday, May 1, 2008

What are Quasars?

The word quasar is short for quasi-stellar object, which means an object that resembles a star. But quasars are not like ordinary stars. Many are thought to be near the edge of the observable universe and moving away from us at nearly the speed of light. But quasars produce intense amounts of light and radio waves, and may be as much as 200 times as bright as an ordinary galaxy. And they appear to be much smaller than a galaxy-about one light-year across. No one can account for how quasars produce such immense amounts of energy. Perhaps they are much nearer, much larger, and not moving so fast.

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