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QUASARS

KALLURU HARSHAVARDHAN REDDY

(1) Introduction:
QUASARS is an abbreviation for Quasi Stellar Radio Sources.The earliest radio surveys of the sky detected a number of radio sources. These radio sources were called as Quasi-stellar, because (like stars) they were point sources of electromagnetic energy but with extremely high red shift in their spectrum (when compared to stars). They are the brightest objects in night sky. Quasar 3C-273 was the rst quasar to be discovered in 1960 in the constellation Virgo. Quasars are quite dierent from stars. It is observed that the quasars have extremely large red shifts in their spectrum when compared to that of the stars. Luminosity of stars is very low when compared to that of a quasars. Quasar 3C-273 has a luminosity, approximately 1016 times that of Solar luminosity. The whole area in which energy is produced in a quasar is very small, when compared to that of a star. Quasars are not understood well in the scientic community even today. (2) History: Mysterious objects emitting radio waves were rst identied in 1963 by radio astronomers who called them quasi-stellar radio sources, or quasars. In 1963 when CalTech astronomer Maarten Schmidt was able to utilize the large 200-inch telescope at Palomar Observatory to record a spectrum of one of these objects, known as 3C-273 and located within the constellation Virgo. While the nature of these objects was controversial until as recently as the early 1980s, there is now a scientic consensus that a quasar is a compact region in the center of a massive galaxy, that surrounds its central super-massive black hole. The quasar is powered by an accretion disc around the black hole. (3) Characteristics of Quasar spectrum: The spectrum was at rst unrecognizable, but Schmidt then deduced that what the spectrum was of ordinary hydrogen, but extremely red-shifted, i.e is the frequency of emission is greater than the frequency of observation. Red shift can occur by various mechanisms, namely Relativistic Doppler shift, Cosmological red shift and Gravitational red shift respectively. The Relativistic Doppler shift can be observed due to relative motion of source and detector. Cosmological red shift is inherent for an expanding universe. According to General theory of Relativity as a photon traverses in an expanding space fabric its wavelength gets increased. As a photon escapes a gravitational eld, it wavelength gets red shifted. This phenomena is called Gravitational red shift(negligible when compared to the other two shifts). The red shift observed in the spectrum of Quasar is due to the contribution of all three mechanisms.

Date : Septmber 19 2013.


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KALLURU HARSHAVARDHAN REDDY

(4) The Relativistic Doppler shift: Special theory of relativity tells us that the shift in wavelength z is given as below.

(1)

) 1 + v cos( o c =1+z = 2 e 1 v c2

Where v is velocity w.r.t observers frame and is the angle between the direction of relative motion and the direction of emission in the observers frame. o is the wavelength of light observed. e is the wavelength of light, when it is emitted at the source. The Doppler eect can make the wavelength either blue shifted or red shifted.Special relativity predicts that, at small values of v, the shift in wavelength is z = v c (5) The Cosmological Red shift: The Friedmann Lemaitre Robertson Walker (FLRW) model describes a homogeneous and isotropic expanding universe. Here a(t) is the scale factor which multiplies all the lengths in the universe. The cosmological red shift is directly related to the scale factor.

(2)

o a(to ) =1+z = e a(te )


The Hubbles Parameter H is dened as

(3)

H=

1 da a = a(t) dt a

The exact relation for proper distance rprop = aro in terms of observable quantities was given by Mattig in 1958, for a Robertson-Walker space-time lled with dust.

(4)

rao qo z + (qo 1)( 1 + 2qo z 1) = 2 (1 + z ) c Ho q o


3p 2 2 2 where we have 2qo = (1 + c 2 )o and kc = (o 1)Ho ao , k is space curvature, is density and p is pressure. z is the cosmological red shift. Although there is no unique denition of the recessional velocity of a distant galaxy, one reasonable denition is the rate of change of the proper distance with respect to cosmic time, that is v = rao = rao Ho . Expanding equation 1.04 in a taylor series around z=0, we obtain,

(5)

2 3 2 3 4 rao (1 + qo )z 2 (1 + qo )z (4 qo + 5qo )z =z + + c 2 2 8

The cosmological shift in wavelength is positive i.e. each line is red shifted due to expansion of the universe. In contrast to the doppler shift, cosmological shift is always a red shift. Greater is the proper distance, greater is the cosmological red shift. Generally in astronomical observations, the shift in wavelength is due to contribution of both Doppler shift and Cosmological shift.

QUASARS

(6) The Nearest Quasar 3C-273: Recessional velocity of the a galaxy can be calculated from red shift in the frequency of light coming from it. The red shift of the light from Quasar 3C-273 has z= 3.733. This would provide us with value of recessional velocity. Hubbles constant has been deduced from latest experiments of the Planck mission, European Space Agency as 67.80 0.77kms1 M pc1 . From Hubbles law (3), we can nd out the proper distance of the galaxy from the observer. The distance is obtained as 620 Mpc which is roughly 2 billion light years away. This enormous distance implies that the light which we receive from the quasars is very old and we see the Quasar as it was 2 billion years ago. The Quasar may not even exist at this point of time. The Luminosity of the Quasar 3C-273 is about 1042 W m2 . Quasars are bright in X-ray and Gamma regions.The whole area in which energy is produced in a quasar is very small. Quasars emit jets of energy and through the radio lobes around it.Such an extra-ordinary amount of power is believed to be provided by accretion disk of a massive black hole. The extremely fast spinning gas molecules release the radiation in X-ray and Gamma regions.