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Quasars give off more energy than 100 normal galaxies combined.

Quasars are farther away from Earth than any other known object in the universe. Because they are so far away from us, it takes billions of years for the light they give off to reach Earth. The light stays the same, it just has to travel a long time to get to us. When we look at a quasar, it is like we are looking back in time. The light we see today is what the quasar looked like billions of years ago. Some scientists think that when they study quasars they are studying the beginning of the universe.

A Quasar
Quasars give off huge amounts of energy. They can be a trillion times brighter than the Sun! Astronomers think that quasars are located in galaxies which have black holes at their centers. The black holes may provide quasars with their energy. Quasars are so bright that they drown out the light from all other stars in the same galaxy. The word quasar is short for quasi-stellar radio source. Quasars give off radio waves, X-rays, gamma-rays, ultraviolet rays, and visible light. Most of them are larger than our solar system.

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A Question

Why is it so difficult to see a star located in the same galaxy as a quasar?

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The Answer
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The StarChild site is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/ GSFC.

StarChild Authors: The StarChild Team
StarChild Graphics & Music: Acknowledgments
StarChild Project Leader: Dr. Laura A. Whitlock
Curator: J.D. Myers
Responsible NASA Official: Phil Newman