Astronomy: Pulsing Quasar

After studying nearly 100 years of star photographs from the University of Heidelberg, Dr. Harlan Smith of the University of Texas reported that the light from the heavenly body known as 3C-273 pulsates regularly on a 13-year cycle. Not that pulsating starlight is rare, but 3C-273 is not a star. It is a "quasar" (quasi-stellar object) that sends out powerful radio waves as well as light and is believed to be about 1 billion light-years away from the earth. Most astronomers think it is a galaxy in the process of exploding.

The astronomers have developed several theories to...

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