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Active galaxies and Quasars

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Main Topics & Concepts
  • Interstellar space is home to nebulae: clouds of dust and gas, where stars form.
  • Far away objects such as active galaxies exhibit highly energetic behavior.
  • Astronomers may have detected the gravitational effects of a black hole at the center of the galaxy.
This topic applies to California state standards 4d in 9th grade Earth Science. 

Science Probe Text
Science Probe I § 15.4 Nebulas

Activity Access Description
S P I:Activity 15D /observing Objects Other Than Stars book  Students locate bright nebulae on a star map (supplied in teacher's text?) and use the map in night sky observations, with or without a telescope.

Activities & Lessons
Activity Access Description

Active Galaxies and Quasars

Imagine the Universe
web Learning page about the distant and brilliant objects known as "quasi-stellar objects," or quasars. Active galaxies are thought to be related. Page has glossary, quiz page, and a math activity that illustrates the motion of other galaxies with respect to our Milky Way.
Resources Access Description
Index odf RXTE Discoveries

NASA/Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer

web Lots of the latest very cool stuff on exotic objects from this X-ray astronomy mission. Articles are well-illustrated and written in a jocular, accessible style...
Stars, Galaxies and Amazing Phenomena

NASA Space Links

web Links to fact sheets and tutorials on black holes, quasars, pulsars, dark matter, globular clusters, and gamma ray bursts. Astro files at Hubble site alone cover many of these topics.


web Retrieve images in many wavelengths of bright objects like active galaxies and Quasars. Program recognizes many common object names.