# Quasar Help

1. Nov 24, 2009

### CaptainEvil

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

If a quasar varies on a time scale of four months, how does the maximum size of the emitting region compare with the Schwarzschild radius for a 109 MSun black hole?

2. Relevant equations

3. The attempt at a solution

Calculating the S radius of the black hole is trivial, but I think I missed the lecture on varying quasars. I don't know of any equations for 'emitting regions' let alone how to use its rotation period to do so. Can anyone start me off on the right track?

fwiw I calculated the S radius by the eqn 3km(M/Msun) = 3 x1012 m

2. Nov 24, 2009

### mgb_phys

if the source varies on a time scale of 4months whats the maximum size it can have?

hint - you are probably supposed to picture it's extent in a line of sight to you and assume the actual brightness change is instantaneous an comes from the full extent of the source.

3. Nov 24, 2009

### CaptainEvil

I see, so are we assuming that it can only extend to a maximum size of 4 light months?
4 light months corresponds to roughly 3.1 e15 meters, which is about 1000 times the size of the S radius of the black hole.

Does this sound right?

4. Nov 24, 2009

### mgb_phys

That's how I read it.
In reality the emission is going to come from a large acreation disk around the hole so it's easy to imagine that as 1000x the Rs