Power Source for Active Galaxies and Quasar1

Power Source for Active Galaxies and Quasar1 - Power Source...

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Unformatted text preview: Power Source for Active Galaxies and Quasars So here's the problem: how does nature produce such objects that are luminous over a large range of wavelengths and generate the energy in a very small volume? The number of stars needed to produce the tremendous luminosity could not be packed into the small region and neither would they produce the peculiar non-thermal radiation. One mechanism you have already learned about is the intense radiation produced by hot gas in an accretion disk around a black hole. In order to produce the enormous amount of energy seen in active galaxies and quasars, the black hole must be supermassive. The intense radiation from the disk would drive the gas outward if the black hole did not have enough gravity to keep the gas falling onto the black hole. In order to keep the gas spiralling in and heating up, the mass of the black hole must be hundreds of millions to several billion solar masses. The accretion disk is a few trillion kilometers across (a few light to several billion solar masses....
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Power Source for Active Galaxies and Quasar1 - Power Source...

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