TWO COSMIC MYSTERIES. I have personally encountered two cosmic mysteries early in my career – like about 40 years ago. They both involved massive, unprecedented sources of energy. The mysteries continued for decades and occasionally the two encounters kept popping up in my memory. Only in the last few years have both these mysteries been solved – and both explanations involve black holes. This is Part 2. Part 1 was posted about a month ago.
QUASARS. The first time I heard about this high-energy radiation was at the University of Arizona in 1981. I was doing research there on cosmic rays during a sabbatical from Oral Roberts University. A portly astronomer was giving a presentation on quasars, which were objects in the sky that he had mapped in visible light using the large Kitt Peak telescope in Arizona.… More