Hanny’s Voorwerp: evidence of a quasar that has turned off


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Hanny’s Voorwerp: a strange object near a galaxy that has baffled astronomers is now seen as a light echo from when the galaxy’s central quasar was still active. More importantly, this is evidence that the quasar went quiescent sometime in the last 70,000 to 200,000 years. For a quasar to turn off so quickly is a surprise for astronomers.

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