HomeSpace NewsAstronomers know how the first quasars formed

Astronomers know how the first quasars formed

A supercomputer simulation shows massive stars forming (red) in a cloud of ancient gas. (Image credit: University of Portsmouth / Nature)

Twinkling like cosmic lighthouses on a shore 13 billion light-years from Earth, quasars are some of the oldest, brightest relics of the early universe that astronomers can detect today.

Short for “quasi-stellar radio sources,” quasars are gargantuan black holes that glow as brightly as galaxies and are millions to billions of times as massive as Earth‘s sun. Today, quasars exist at the centers of many large galaxies. But thanks to their exceptional luminosity, quasars have been tracked far across space-time, with roughly 200 of them identified as forming within the first billion years of our universe’s history.

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