What are Quasars? How do they help in understanding Universe?

Recently, a group of astronomers have discovered a dozen of quasars that were warped by naturally occurring cosmic lens. Warping is twisting. With this discovery, the number of known quasars have increased by 25%. This can help to determine the expansion rate of the universe and will also help address other mysteries.

What are Quasars?

  • Quasars are luminous cores of distant galaxies that are powered by black holes. The mass of Quasars is millions to billions of times the mass of the sun. The most powerful quasars have luminosities thousand times greater than the Milky Way galaxy.
  • The nearest Quasar to the earth is Markarian 231. It is 600 million years away from the earth.
  • Quasars are usually found in the centres of active galaxies.

Hubble’s Constant

Recently, several discrepancies have emerged over the precise value of the expansion rate of the universe. The expansion rate of the universe is called Hubble’s constant. There are two primary means that can be used to determine Hubble’s constant. One is through measurement of distance and speed of objects in the local universe. The other method to find the Hubble’s constant is by extrapolating the rate from models based on distant radiation left over from the birth of the universe. The later is called the Cosmic Microwave background.

How will Quasars help in understanding the Universe?

The main issue is that the two methods of Hubble Constant determination do not match. However, the discovery of Quasars will help to solve the controversies around Hubble Constant. A Quasar based determination of Hubble constant will allow the astronomers to conclude which of the value is correct.

Hubble’s Constant describes how fast the universe is expanding. It is one of the keystones to understand the expansion of the universe. Thus, Quasars will help in understanding the Universe by solving the discrepancies around Hubble’s constant.




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