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Quasars and Radio Galaxies - the most powerful sources of radio waves in the universe

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Quasars and powerful radio galaxies are extraordinary objects emitting up to 10 million times the power of our galaxy in the radio waveband. We can use them to test physical theories in extraordinary conditions unattainable in a laboratory. The energy is believed to originate from matter falling onto a massive black hole with a mass about one billion times that of the sun. The observed differences between radio galaxies and quasars can be attributed to relativistic effects – quasars are oriented at smaller angles to our line of sight and some of their emission is relativistically beamed towards us. Because they are so powerful we can observe these objects at very large redshifts so they can be used to probe conditions in the early Universe.

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