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One quasar, two quasar, red quasar, blue quasar: a seuss-like space color mystery explained

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Most quasars have a blue-ish tinge, Durham officials said in a statement.. But there's an astronomical mystery here to consider: many quasars appear more red if they are viewed through obscuring clouds of gas and dust.


"The conventional view of red quasars is that they are actually blue quasars that are angled away from our line-of-sight," according to the statement. But a new science team led by doctoral student Lizelke Klindt argues that there is a much different explanation. Specifically, Durham says that red quasars "are likely to be the result of a brief, but violent, phase in the evolution of galaxies when their black holes are ejecting large amounts of energy into the surrounding dust and gas."


This energy emission carries away any gas and dust in the vicinity, leaving a blue quasar behind. The team reached this new conclusion by studying 10,000 red and blue quasars in various stages of evolution. Their findings may also shed light on how galaxies form in general, according to the statement.

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