Superluminous Quasar

April 07, 2020

Quasar_Boxed_and_Book_Image (002)

Photographer: Greg Parker 
Summary Author: Greg Parker

The superluminous quasar APM 08279+5255 is shown above in the box at top center and at the arrow at bottom center. This very distant object, some 12-billion light-years away, is located in the constellation Lynx. It was first identified as a quasar in 1998 during an Automatic Plate Measuring Facility (APM) survey to find carbon stars in the Milky Way’s galactic halo. With a redshift of z=3.87, the quasar appears very red, hence the initial thought was that this might be a carbon star. The combination of high redshift and brightness made it the most luminous object seen in the Universe at the time of the survey.

Image Details: The widefield, upper image (box), was taken using a Takahashi Sky90 telescope and Starlight Xpress M25C one-shot color CCD. The narrow field, lower image (arrow), was taken with a Hyperstar on a Celestron Nexstar GPS C11 reflector telescope, with a Starlight Xpress H9C OSC CCD, at the New Forest Observatory in the U.K.