(ORDO NEWS) — Quasar 3C 273 , 2.44 billion light-years from Earth , is about four trillion times brighter than the Sun and 100 times brighter than all the stars in our galaxy combined.
If 3C 273 were at a distance of 33 light years from our planet, which is 7.8 times farther than the nearest star to us (Proxima Centauri is 4.23 light years away from the solar system ), then it would shine in the sky just as brightly, like the sun on the clearest day. And this despite the fact that the Sun is only eight light minutes from the Earth.
The special nature of quasars
The term “quasar” comes from the phrase “quasi-stellar radio source”, which refers to the fact that these objects look like stars when looking at the sky.
In fact, any quasar is an extremely active center of a very distant galaxy, fed by a huge disk of gas and dust surrounding a supermassive black hole .
When material from the disk falls onto the black hole, then all quasars, including 3C 273, “shoot” with ultrafast jets (hot plasma jets) into the surrounding space. In the first image (above), only the “ghost streak” of jet 3C 273 is visible on the left.
But in the X-ray image (below), the jet, stretching almost 200,000 light-years, is visible much more clearly.
It is worth noting that quasars are a characteristic feature of the young Universe. All these mysterious objects are located at an unimaginable distance from our planet, and this indicates that they were only a transitional stage in the development of the Cosmos.
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