Recently a friend emailed me asking me what a quasar is, which to my great shame as a nerd I didn’t know. I thought it was a form of star, something like a pulsar. Turns out I was wrong, it’s a galaxy with an active nucleus.
Well anyway, getting to my point, in learning about it I realized how an old creationist argument I heard was not valid. Basically the argument goes like this: Galaxies are all super-awesome and orderly and all the stars are in pretty little stable orbits around the core so god must have arranged them thusly.
But it turns out that when galaxies (which are clouds of billions of stars and various other material pulled into orbit around a super-massive black hole) form, they are not stable. They have some stars in orbits that are receding and some in decaying orbits (moving closer to the core). When that happens the galaxy eventually becomes stable because it… destroys or flings out into the void any stars not in a stable orbit. The stars in decaying orbits get closer and closer to the core (black hole) until they get close enough to get ripped apart, releasing the full energy equivalent of a supernova. Younger galaxies with lots of stars in decaying orbits not-yet annihilated are called quasars. And because of the massive energy of the muuuuch larger than normal “accretion disk” of energized material and ripped open suns spinning around it’s core, quasar galaxies emit vastly more radiation (about 100 times the radiation produced by our galaxy) until they stabilize and become just regular galaxies
Some quasars courtesy of the hubble:
They are so bright many of them look like stars, and if the core of one was 30,000 or so light-years away (roughly as far away as the core of our galaxy) it would be as bright to us as our sun.
So yeah, creationists: 0, science: 9,843,0391,5920.
Rec this if you enjoyed it and lemme know if it made sense. Oh, and if you liked this check out my last blog on what time is if you didn’t see it.