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Broad emission lines of QSOs are consistent with rotating supermassive stars

Abstract

Quasars and Seyfert galaxies typically have optical and UV spectra characterized by a largely nonthermal continuum, narrow emission lines, and broad emission lines (full widths at zero intensity 104 km s−1) observed only in permitted and inter-combination transitions. The broad lines come from a small amount of dense, fast-moving gas, in a region 1018 cm across near the continuum source1. The origin, geometry, and dynamics of the broad line gas are uncertain. I suggest here that the basic properties of the broad emission-line profiles are consistent with emission from the surface of a rotating, super-massive star.

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Shields, G. Broad emission lines of QSOs are consistent with rotating supermassive stars. Nature 305, 407–409 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1038/305407a0

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