quasars

quasar

[kwey-zahr, -zer, -sahr, -ser]
noun Astronomy.
one of over a thousand known extragalactic objects, starlike in appearance and having spectra with characteristically large redshifts, that are thought to be the most distant and most luminous objects in the universe.


Origin:
1960–65; quas(i-stell)ar, in quasi-stellar radio source, the first type of quasar discovered

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World English Dictionary
quasar (ˈkweɪzɑː, -sɑː)
 
n
any of a class of extragalactic objects that emit an immense amount of energy in the form of light, infrared radiation, etc, from a compact source. They are extremely distant and their energy generation is thought to involve a supermassive black hole located in the centre of a galaxy
 
[C20: quas(i-stell)ar (object)]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

quasar
1964, from "quas(i-stell)ar radio source" (1963).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
quasar  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (kwā'zär')  Pronunciation Key 
Short for quasi-stellar radio source. A compact, starlike celestial body with a power output greater than our entire galaxy. Believed to be the oldest and most distant objects ever detected, quasars are billions of light-years from Earth and moving away from us at nearly 80 percent of the speed of light. For this reason, quasars are highly important to astronomers' understanding of the early universe. Little is currently understood about the nature of quasars; one theory suggests that they are produced by giant black holes destroying enormous amounts of matter, causing the subsequent ejection of radiation along their north and south poles. Many astronomers believe that quasars represent an early stage in the evolution of galaxies such as our own. See also blazar, Seyfert galaxy.

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Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
quasars [(kway-zahrz)]

The most distant galaxies seen from the Earth, believed to be the first stage in the evolution of galaxies. The name is short for “quasistellar radio source.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
quasar
quasi-stellar object
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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