Quasars in the Universe

Until recently, astronomers believed that in the universe, space objects changed little over time. True, variable stars were known, as well as flashes of new and supernovae. In addition, it turned out that some galaxies are sources of powerful radio emission.

Quasars in the Universe turned out to be one of those surprises that the Universe presents to us from time to time

In 1963, at very great distances from our Galaxy, striking objects-quasars-were discovered. In comparison with huge galaxies, quasars are negligible. But each quasar emits hundreds of times more energy than the most giant known to us galaxies, consisting of hundreds of billions of stars.

Quasars in the Universe turned out to be one of those surprises that the Universe presents to us from time to time. However, their physical nature requires an explanation, namely, what physical processes can lead to the allocation of such grandiose amounts of energy. In addition, what place does the quasar occupy in a number of different space objects? Are quasars in the universe unique formations, a kind of exception from the general rule or a natural step in the development of space systems? Are not quasars in the universe a stage in the development of cosmic objects, perhaps one of the earliest? In any case, the analysis of the electromagnetic radiation of quasars reveals a clear similarity between them and the nuclei of some types of radio galaxies.

Astronomers drew attention to a very curious circumstance. Almost all known quasars in the universe are lonely objects. On the other hand, radio galaxies close to them, as a rule, are included in clusters of galaxies and are their central members, the most vivid and active ones.

Hence, the idea arises that quasars in the universe are "proto-clusters" of galaxies, that is, objects, as a result of the further evolution of which galaxies and clusters of galaxies subsequently emerged.

In favor of this assumption, for example, the activity of galactic nuclei, which is very similar to the activity of quasars, though not so violent, speaks for example. Especially turbulent processes occur in the nuclei of the so-called Seyfert galaxies. These nuclei are very small in size, comparable to the size of quasars and, like them, have extremely powerful electromagnetic radiation. In them, gas flows with huge velocities reaching several thousand kilometers per second. Many Seyfert galaxies observe the emission of compact gas clouds with masses of tens and hundreds of solar masses. At the same time, colossal energy is released.

It is possible that the energy of quasar radiation and the activity of galactic nuclei are generated by similar physical processes.

As we have already said, quasars in the universe are very remote objects. And the farther away from us is this or that cosmic object, so in the more distant past we observe it. On the average, galaxies, including galaxies with active nuclei, are closer to the Universe than quasars. Consequently, these are objects of a later generation - they should have been formed later than quasars. And this is no small indication that quasars in the universe may be the nuclei of galaxies.