Observation data (Epoch J2000)
12h 29m 06.7s
+02° 03' 09?
0.158339 ± 0.000067
2.443 Gly (749 Mpc) (luminosity distance)
Apparent magnitude (V)
optically-brightest quasar, first spectrum of a quasar
PGC 41121 and HIP 60936
See also: Quasar, List of quasars
3C 273 is a quasar located in the constellation Virgo. It was the first quasar ever to be identified.It is the optically brightest quasar in our sky (m ~12.9), and one of the closest with a redshift, z, of 0.158. A luminosity distance of DL = 749 megaparsecs (2.4 Gly) may be calculated from z. It is also one of the most luminous quasars known, with an absolute magnitude of -26.7, meaning that if it were only as distant as Pollux (~10 parsecs) it would appear nearly as bright in the sky as the Sun. Since the sun's absolute magnitude is 4.83, it means that the quasar is over 4 trillion times brighter than the sun. Its mass has been measured to be 886 ± 187 million solar masses through broad emission-line reverberation mapping.
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