In 1961, astronomers detected a very powerful source of energy in space.
When they looked through a telescope to try to find that energy source, they found an object that looked like a faint star. But they knew the object was giving off far too much energy to be a single star. They named this object a quasar.
A single quasar gives off more energy than a thousand galaxies, or ten trillion stars. Yet these objects seem to be no bigger than a small portion of a galaxy. If quasars are so small, how can they be giving off so much energy? No one knows for sure.
Some scientists think that quasars are tremendous explosions taking place in the middle of distant galaxies. Others think that quasars are very distant objects that are moving at very high speeds away from us.
According to these scientists, quasars are so far away that when we look at them, we’re actually looking back in time almost to the beginning of the universe!