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When they were first detected in the 1960s, they were called radio stars because they emit large amounts of radiation, including radio waves; what did astronomers call them next?




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Answer: quasars

When Martin Schmidt and Allan R. Sandage discovered them in 1963, they called them radio stars. This was eventually replaced by the word quasar, which is short for either quasi-stellar radio objects or quasi-stellar radio source.

Nowadays astronomers are calling this class of celestial objects QSOs, which is short for Quasi-Stellar Objects, so that the term will include quasars that don't emit radio waves.

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