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False-colour radio image of quasar 3C 273

False-colour radio image of quasar 3C 273

R930/0011

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Credit

JODRELL BANK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JODRELL BANK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

False colour radio image of quasar 3C 273 at a wavelength of 73 centimetres. Some 2100 million light years away, 3C 273 is the nearest known quasar; it is moving away from us at a velocity of 50,000 km per second. Its most distinctive feature is its enormous jet, which extends an estimated 1.2 million light years. The end of the jet (bottom right) is as powerful a radio emitter as the quasar's core (top left). This long radio wavelength picture, recorded by Jodrell Bank's MERLIN network of radio telescopes in north-west England, is the first to show 3C 273's jet running continuously from the quasar core. Beam 1", LAS 25".

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