Quasars or quasi-stellar radio source are sources of electromagnetic
energy which are characterized with high red shifts, thus leading scientists to conclude that not only they are moving away
but are also at a great distance from us. Of the over 100,000 quasars identified to-date, the greatest proportion are over
one billion light-years away (the closest quasar identified to-date is 780 million light-years away whereas the most distant
quasar discovered so far is 13 billion light-years away). As a result, quasars represent entities from the universe's
Given their visibility (generally as point sources of light), it follows they must be associated with tremendous amounts of energy which is only exceeded in intensity by supernovae and gamma-ray bursts. Some examples of quasars also involve the centers of (active) galaxies and which has led to the suggestion that supermassive black holes at the galaxy center and the consequent accretion of material must fuel these quasars. The rapid change in luminosity observed for some quasars also suggests they must be relatively small entities.
Note: The quasar 3C 48 in Triangulum at a distance of 3.95 billion light-years away has the distinction of having its associated galaxy identified. Located just northeast of á-Trianguli (mag 3.41) and southwest of the large spiral galaxy M33, this QSO is characterized with a visual magnitude of 16.20. Quasar 3C 48 is associated with a sizeable redshift (z=0.3670000136) and which suggests that it is receeding away from us at 30.3% the speed of light (ie. 91,000 km/sec)!
Note: Further details on this quasar are available here.
Please click on the image below to display in higher resolution (1200 x 900)
RA / Dec:
01h 37m 41s /
33° 09' 35"
3.95 billion ly
Jan 7, 2008
19:45 - 20:20 UT+2
AP 160 f/7.5 StarFire EDF
AP 1200GTO GEM
SBIG LRGB + IR-block