The Most Exotic and Remote

Quasar 3C273

Quasar 3C273
Sketch and Details by Jef De Wit


This quasar (acronym for “QUASi-stellAR radio sources”) is probable the most exotic object that I ever observed, but it was also one of the most easy to draw (i.e. a simple dot). 3C 273 was the first object to be identified as a quasar. It is also the brightest and at least one of nearest of all quasars.

Its average apparent magnitude of 12.8 corresponds to an enormous absolute brightness of -26.7 magnitudes visually (about 2 trillion times that of our sun!). At a distance of 2.5 Giga light years (redshift of 0.158) this quasar is for most amateurs the most remote object they can view.

Finding 3C 273 is easy with a detailed chart. The quasar forms a triangle with two stars of 13.4 and 14.2 magnitues. The latter wasn’t visible in the 12″ dobson.

Hope you like it


Jef De Wit

Object name: 3C 273

Object type: quasar

Location: Wechelderzande, Belgium (51°16’ North 4°46’ East), NELM 5.5

Date and time: 20 March 2009 22.00 UT

Equipment: 12” dobson 7mm Nagler T6 (magnification of 171)

Medium: graphite pencil HB/n°2, printing paper, scanned and inverted

3 thoughts on “The Most Exotic and Remote”

  1. Jef,

    The sketch is ok, but the object is Remarkable!
    I was hunting on it, without success. Thanks for the view! 😀


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