Astrophysics (index)


(QSO, Quasi-Stellar Object)
(distant, bright object that appears something like a star)

A Quasar (from Quasi-Stellar Object or QSO) is an object with the point-like appearance of a star, but with a Redshift (z) indicating a far greater distance than that of a visible individual star. Quasars are identified now as Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). Observed redshifts range from .05 to greater than 7, putting them in the range of 600 million to near 13 billion light-years distant (or years old).

They appear so bright enough that some quasars might equal the Sun's apparent brightness at a distance of 30 light-years. However, they do not necessarily shine so brightly in all directions. Their strong light can be lensed by nearer objects and can be useful for studying the objects doing the lensing.

Quasars were first identified in the 1960s.

The Balmer Series, typically H-alpha (Ha), is often useful to determine the redshift.

The term Quasi-Stellar Source (or QSS or Quasi-Stellar Radio Source) refers to a quasar that is also a strong Radio source. In fact, the term quasar was originally coined for such radio sources, but has come into wide usage with the broader meaning. The term Quasi-Stellar Galaxy (QSG) formerly was used for radio-quiet quasars. (Note that in Radio Astronomy, the word source is typically assumed to mean radio source).

(stars,galaxies,AGN,object type)
QSOQSO B1957+405Quasar"QSO" used for any quasar irrespective of catalog

Referenced by:
Astronomical Catalog
Balmer Series
Blandford-Znajek Mechanism
Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS)
Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI)
Eddington Luminosity
Epoch of Reionization (EOR)
Gravitational Lensing
Gunn-Peterson Trough
Hyperluminous Infrared Galaxy (HLIRG)
Luminous Infrared Galaxy (LIRG)
Lyman-Alpha Forest
NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED)
Pico Dos Dias Survey (PDS)
Palomar-Green Survey (PG)
Radio Star
Relativistic Beaming
Radio Galaxy (RG)
Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS)
Seyfert Galaxy
3C 273
3C 48
Tonantzintla Surveys (Ton)
2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey (2dFGRS)
Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxy (ULIRG)