Glossary term: Active Galactic Nucleus

Description: An active galactic nucleus (AGN) is a very luminous area at the center of a galaxy. This is thought to be powered by a supermassive black hole with an extremely hot accretion disk around it. An AGN sometimes sends out jets of material along the two poles of the accretion disk. While many galaxies have a supermassive black hole in the center, not all are AGN. AGN is a general term that includes objects such as quasars and blazars. The different observational properties of these types of objects are thought to result from AGN being viewed from different angles.

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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".