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Quasars and 3C273

19 Mar 2011, 22:46 UTC
Quasars and 3C273 SSU NASA E/PO
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The central object looks just like any other star in the image above, but it’s as far from a star as you can get. It is in fact a Quasar...

Credit: SDSS








The central object looks just like any other star in the image above, but it’s as far from a star as you can get. It is in fact a Quasar (the less catchy name is Quasi-Stellar Radio Source), which are some of the most distant and most luminous objects seen in the observable universe. This one however isn’t as distant as many of its type, at just a redshift (Z) of 0.15 it’s just 1.88 billion (yes, just) light years away [1].
Some of the most distant Quasars have a Z of 6, placing them around 12 billion light years away, or 24 billion light years away in commoving distance. One such example is SDSS J1148+5251 which has a Z of 6.41. It was until recently the most distant quasar found, but this record has been replaced by CFHQS J232908-030158 at a Z of 6.43, placing it 12.8 billion light years away [2].
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