July 21st, 2008
Episode 101 of 475 episodes
Last week we talked about galaxies in general, and hinted at the most violent and energetic ones out there: active galaxies. Quasars have been a mystery for half a century; what kind of object could throw out more radiation than an entire galaxy? A black hole, it turns out, with the mass of hundreds of millions of suns performs this feat. Let's trace back the history of quasars, how they were first discovered and puzzled astronomers for so long. And let's look at what we know today.