3C 273 - Quasar in Virgo Feature Summary

Physics in Your World
3C273 - Quasar in Virgo
In a telescope, object 3C273 will look like an ordinary star to you--it looked like an ordinary star to astronomers until the 1950s, too. In fact it is a quasar, or quasi-stellar radio source. These objects might look like stars, but they emit radio noise and are very distant--in the case of 3C273 above, nearly 2.5 billion light years away.

3C273 is bright enough to be seen with a very good backyard telescope. If you can find it, you can look back billions of years in time. Read 3C273 - Quasar in Virgo to learn how to find it in the night sky.
image credit: Wikimedia Commons; <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CaldwellStarChart.svg" target="_blank">image source</a>; <a href="     http://www.physicstogo.org/images/features/quasar_chart_large.png" target="_blank">larger image</a>
image credit: Wikimedia Commons; image source; larger image
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February 1, 2011 - March 12, 2011