Best picture of quasar 3C 273 by NASA

Quasar 3C 273 (Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA)
Quasar 3C 273 (Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA)

NASA has published the best image of ancient and brilliant quasar 3C 273. This image has been taken from Hubble’s Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2).

In astronomy, quasar refers to a compact object in space, usually with a large red shift indicating extreme remoteness that emits huge amounts of energy, sometimes equal to the energy output of an entire galaxy. Quasars can emit hundreds to thousands of times the entire energy output of our galaxy.

Quasar 3C 273 was discovered in the early 1960s by astronomer Allan Sandage and is present in the giant elliptical galaxy in the constellation of Virgo (The Virgin) at such a distance that the light from this quasar takes about 2.5 billion years to reach us. Interestingly, this quasar is one of the closest quasars to us.

Quasars usually fire off super-fast jets into the surrounding space and one of these jets are present in the picture in the form of cloudy streak that is about 200 000 light-years in length.

Source:

NASA’s Hubble Gets the Best Image of Bright Quasar 3C 273 – NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasas-hubble-gets-the-best-image-of-bright-quasar-3c-273/#.UpKLi8Rmj0s)

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutics, in Hajvery University, Lahore, Pakistan.