The light, radiation and radio waves from these galaxies and stars being absorbed into a black hole travel billions of light years through space. When we look at quasars which are 10-15 billion light years away, we are looking 10-15 billion years into the past. Pretty amazing, right?Many astronomers believe that quasars are the most distant objects yet detected in the universe. Quasars give off enormous amounts of energy – they can be a trillion times brighter than the Sun! Quasars are believed to produce their energy from massive black holes in the center of the galaxies in which the quasars are located. Because quasars are so bright, they drown out the light from all the other stars in the same galaxy.
Despite their brightness, due to their great distance from Earth, no quasars can be seen with an unaided eye. Energy from quasars takes billions of years to reach the Earth’s atmosphere. For this reason, the study of quasars can provide astronomers with information about the early stages of the universe.
If a supermassive black hole is the source of a quasar’s power, then about 10 Sunlike stars per year falling into the black hole could produce its enormous luminosity. Quasars might be the ancestors of all galaxies, the violent beginnings of us all.