Quasars are the most energetic objects in the universe, which is why astronomers can observe them from so far away. (J. da Silva/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA)
Nearly every galaxy hosts a monster at its center — a supermassive black hole millions to billions times the size of the Sun. While there’s still much to learn about these objects, many scientists believe they are crucial to the formation and structure of galaxies.
What’s more, some of these black holes are particularly active, whipping up stars, dust and gas into glowing accretion disks emitting powerful radiation into the cosmos as they consume matter around them.