What is the difference between a black hole and a quasar?

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Feb 16, 2016

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Most astronomers believe that quasars are black holes with energetic jets beaming out from two sides and when the beam is directed towards us we see the bright quasar.

Explanation:

It has been seen that high speed particles are accelerated away from a black hole in jets along the black hole's rotation axis. This phenomenon manifests itself on the scale of supermassive black holes as quasars and on the stellar black hole scale as "microquasars".

Quasars are believed to be the very bright centers of some distant galaxies, where some sort of energetic action is occurring. One of the only energy sources strong enough to power a quasar is a supermassive black hole (black hole with the mass of about a million to billion times the mass of the Sun) at the center of that galaxy. Quasars are so bright that their light drowns out the light from other stars in the galaxy.

These supermassive black holes are surrounded by a cloud of rotating dust and gas. As material falls into the black hole, it is heated to millions of degrees, which is spread across the spectrum from radio waves, to visible light, to gamma rays. Huge amount of energy is released, powering the quasar. Thus a quasar is a shell of super-heated gas surrounding a supermassive black hole.

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Peter Share
Feb 16, 2016

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A black hole emits no light while quasars can emit light a trillion times brighter than that of our sun.

Explanation:

The exact nature of a quasar is unknown although they all seem to exist in close proximity to a black hole with the black hole providing large amounts of energy to the quasar.

All known quasars are in the billions of light years away. It can be speculated that quasars were an anomaly of the early universe because of their great distance from us, meaning there may not be any in existence right now but because of their great distance we can still detect them.

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