3C 273

3C 273 is the name of the apparently brightest quasar in the night sky. 3C 273 was the first quasar discovered. The property is located in the constellation Virgo, stands near the ecliptic and can occasionally be covered by the moon. Its redshift is z = 0.158, which results in its luminosity distance in the ΛCDM model to 746.9 Mpc and 2.436 billion light years. About reverberation mapping, the mass was determined to be 886 ± 187 million solar masses.


Maarten Schmidt discovered in 1963 in the more detailed investigation of the previously mapped by Martin Ryle cosmic radio sources that 3C 273 from Ryles Third Cambridge Catalogue ( "3C " ) a very high redshift had that does not match his appearance as a point -appearing single star. The radio galaxy 3C 273 was, therefore, as it turned out, only " quasi- stellar ", which led to the name " Quasar ".

Brightness and observation

3C 273 has an apparent magnitude of 12.86 like and an absolute magnitude of -26.7 mag. Thus, the Quasar 300 times brighter than the Milky Way and 4.1 trillion times brighter than the sun.

On a clear night 3C 273 can be seen as a shining dot in the eyepiece of a good amateur telescope. The property is located about 4 ° east to east -south "8 A clock " direction of 16 Vir (5 mag). Due to the low apparent brightness of the quasar is only with a very good star map to find safe. For a rough guide to the star map can be used right.

3C 273, taken with a ToUcam to a 10 " SCT with 600 mm focal length

The surrounding galaxy is seen in a picture with a Koronograf the Hubble Space Telescope.