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X-ray image of the quasar 3C 273

X-ray image of the quasar 3C 273

R930/0009

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Credit

SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

X-ray image of quasar 3C 273. It is also the nearest quasar at a distance of some 2100 million light years from Earth. It is receding relative to earth at a velocity of 50,000km per second. It appears to be the brightest known quasar at all wavelengths, from radio waves through gamma radiation. The image was recorded by the Einstein Observatory X-ray astronomy satellite. The scatter of dots across the image is the general background of X-rays in the universe, with the exception of the blue dots at upper left, which is another more distant quasar.

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