Astronomy: Toward the Edge of the Universe

The announcement said that Astronomer Maarten Schmidt of Caltech had discovered a quasar (quasi-stellar radio source) racing away from earth at 80% of the speed of light. That brief observation last week surely marks a significant milestone in the expanding reach of modern astronomy. Since speed is related to distance, the speed of Schmidt's quasar makes it by far the most distant object ever identified. Even more important, discovering the quasar meant that Dr. Schmidt had refined a delicate technique that will almost certainly find still more distant objects and lead man...

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