NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
X-ray image of quasar 3C 273. It was the first quasar to be identified, in the 1960s. 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 to 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.
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