Difference between Quasar and Pulsar

Quasar vs. Pulsar

What is Difference between quasar and pulsar? The universe involves mysteries that cause us to wonder and that motivate the scientists to want to discover more and more, in order not only to find answers to some things that we do not understand; but also to better understand our origin. No doubt that in space there are still many things to be discovered. There are Millions of stars, millions of planets, black holes, quasars and pulsars; but what are these last two? Below this post is all about the difference between quasar and pulsar.

Difference between Quasar and Pulsar


The first pulsar was discovered in 1967 by Anthony Hewish and Jocelyn Bell at the Cambridge Radio Astronomy Observatory. The discovery happened accidentally. A pulsar is a neutron star that emits radiation periodically. It consists of three layers: a solid core, a “liquid” mantle and a thin, solid crust.

It is entirely composed of neutrons and emits regular pulses of electromagnetic radiation. The pulsars spin very fast. These stars are the products of the explosive transformation of a massive star. The radio waves of a pulsar escape from its north and south magnetic poles.


Also called quasar. Quasars look like stars, but they are extremely luminous objects at all wavelengths. The first quasars were discovered in the 1960s, during the measurement of radio emissions derived from them. However, later many similar objects were found and did not emit radio waves. They are believed to be in the center of active galaxies where black holes reside.

The red shift exhibited by them reveals that they are at great distances. They are likely to form from black holes, when a large part of their mass is converted into energy; such energy would be what we see as a quasar.

They can release energy capable of illuminating a galaxy and equivalent to millions of suns. Today, more than 200 thousand quasars have been identified. These are between 780 million and 28 trillion light years from us.

Key Differences between Quasar and Pulsar

  • Pulsars are highly magnetized rotating neutron stars, while quasars are extremely powerful and distant active galactic nuclei.
  • Quasars are larger than pulsars.
  • Pulsars are less bright than quasars.
  • Quasars are more distant than pulsars.
  • Pulsars have pulse and rotation, while quasars do not.
  • Quasars are associated with black holes, while pulsars are not.
  • Pulsars are newer than quasars.