Glossary term: Quasar

Description: Short for quasi-stellar radio source, quasars are compact objects located at cosmological distances beyond the Milky Way. Quasars appear as stars (hence, quasi-stellar) and were initially detected with radio telescopes. Observations reveal that they are associated with the region around the most massive supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies. Quasars are a subclass of active galactic nuclei (AGN), which includes radio and Seyfert galaxies, blazars, and LINERs. Quasars can be as much as 100 times more luminous than their host galaxy. Some also have giant jets which interact with the gas within a galaxy. Because of their high luminosities, quasars can be used to study distant galaxies, intervening galaxies, and the intergalactic medium. 3C 237 was the first quasar detected.

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Term and definition status: This term and its definition is still awaiting approval

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".