Are 'accretion disk of a black hole' and 'quasar' synonymous? If not, what's the difference?


1 Answer 1


No they both are different in there properties.I mean they are part of one complete process with different properties..

..As Quasar and Accretion_disk states...

Accretion Disk

  1. is a structure disk formed by material in orbit around central body(star).

  2. got gravity causes material in the disk to spiral inward towards the central body.

  3. is compressed by forces to raise the temperature of the material causing the emission of electromagnetic radiation.

  4. has frequency range of that radiation depends on the central object's mass.

    Which means radiation for :

    1. Young stars and Protostars : Infrared
    2. Neutron stars and Black holes : X-ray

    part of the spectrum.

On other hand,


  1. is radio sources are the most energetic object

  2. they posses high redshift sources of electromagnetic energy.

  3. radiate

    1. Radio waves
    2. Visible light
  4. have luminosity 100 times greater than that of the Milky Way.

  5. are normally caused by collisions of galaxies, with the galaxies' central black holes merging to form either a supermassive black hole or a binary black hole system.

Summary :

Accretion Disk is a disk of materials around star.

Quasar is radio sources formed when two galaxies collides centering single or binary black hole

  • $\begingroup$ The emissions from a quasar are from the accretion disk that surrounds a black hole, so I think your delineation here is a little strict/wrong. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 11:10
  • $\begingroup$ ok let me correct myself in answer.. $\endgroup$
    – Iamat8
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 11:47
  • $\begingroup$ The last sentence of the introduction to the Wikipedia article you link states very clearly, The energy emitted by a quasar derives from mass falling onto the accretion disc around the black hole. This appears to contradict your entire post. You're also introducing a non sequitur with the formation of a quasar, ignoring what it is. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 12:40
  • $\begingroup$ that's why stated they are part of a complete process with defferent properties $\endgroup$
    – Iamat8
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 12:55
  • $\begingroup$ So does every black hole have a quasar? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 7:57

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