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Observing >> Deep Sky Observing

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MikeBOKC
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Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Quasar 3C273 new
      #6433971 - 03/28/14 09:46 AM

Planning an extended observing session at the club dark site Saturday night and one object on my list is this relatively bright quasar. I have not observed it before and am not sure how to pick it out from the background stars. For those who have bagged it, will it appear stellar or as a faint elliptical galaxy, something like a planetary nebula?

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LivingNDixie
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Reged: 04/23/03

Loc: Trussville, AL
Re: Quasar 3C273 new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #6434232 - 03/28/14 11:34 AM

Here is a nice link with some finder charts:

http://washedoutastronomy.com/content/3c-273-quasars-are-easy


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kt4hx
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Reged: 01/21/09

Loc: Fredericksburg, Va
Re: Quasar 3C273 new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #6434416 - 03/28/14 01:18 PM

I ran across this quasar observing list/program from the East Valley Astronomy Club in case anyone is interested. It has a total of 48, including 3C 273 of course.

http://evaconline.org/obspgm-quasars.htm


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David Knisely
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Reged: 04/19/04

Loc: southeastern Nebraska
Re: Quasar 3C273 new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #6434472 - 03/28/14 01:59 PM

Quote:

Planning an extended observing session at the club dark site Saturday night and one object on my list is this relatively bright quasar. I have not observed it before and am not sure how to pick it out from the background stars. For those who have bagged it, will it appear stellar or as a faint elliptical galaxy, something like a planetary nebula?




It will appear as a stellar object around magnitude 12.7. It is also a slightly variable brightness object with a range of several tenths of a magnitude. There are lots of good charts for it on-line, but you just have to identify it based on the star field. Good luck and clear skies to you.


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Dave MitskyModerator
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Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: Quasar 3C273 new [Re: David Knisely]
      #6434567 - 03/28/14 02:55 PM

I've observed this quasar with telescopes as small as a 101mm Tele Vue refractor. It appears as nothing more than a fairly faint star, as the term quasistellar object implies.

http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/active/quasars.html

Browse http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~zhuxj/astro/html/quasar3c273.html for a star-hop from Eta Virginis to 3C 273.

There's an amateur image of 3C 273 posted at http://schmidling.com/3c273.htm

For more on locating 3C 273, see the charts at http://www.lsw.uni-heidelberg.de/projects/extragalactic/charts/1226+023.html and http://www.astrosurf.com/jwisn/3c273.htm.

Dave Mitsky


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Philler
sage


Reged: 07/15/13

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: Quasar 3C273 new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #6434753 - 03/28/14 04:38 PM

Have not observed it recently. I've observed it several times years ago with the help of my atlas charts and an AAVSO chart to help confirm the star field. 3C273 just appeared stellar to me, about 12.5 m. Certainly not impressive visually, but impressive in the fact of what a quasar actually is and what goes on there, and what fantastic things we are learning about them.

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ThreeD
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/08

Loc: Sacramento suburbs
Re: Quasar 3C273 [Re: Philler]
      #6434879 - 03/28/14 06:06 PM

Quote:

Have not observed it recently. I've observed it several times years ago with the help of my atlas charts and an AAVSO chart to help confirm the star field. 3C273 just appeared stellar to me, about 12.5 m. Certainly not impressive visually, but impressive in the fact of what a quasar actually is and what goes on there, and what fantastic things we are learning about them.


And for how old the photons are... but, yeah, just it just looks like a faint star.

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Fuzzyguy
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Colorado/Kansas
Re: Quasar 3C273 new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #6439414 - 03/31/14 12:38 PM

I observed this quasar last summer using the "Washed Out Astronomy" charts Preston linked. It was pretty east to find with the charts in my 8" SCT. I started from 16 Vir and quickly hopped my way there. Yes it is stellar, but still pretty amazed I could see photons over 12 billion years old!

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MikeBOKC
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Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Quasar 3C273 new [Re: Fuzzyguy]
      #6493390 - 04/28/14 08:49 AM

After several dry runs made difficult by clouds, wind, etc., finally had a good night Friday night at the club dark site with an observing buddy and my granddaughter. This quasar was quite apparent and matched the mag 12.7 estimates noted above. Stellar, yes, but as many have noted, made more impressive by one's knowledge of what it represents. Thanks for the guidance . . . now on to the Horsehead! (not)

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stevecoe
"Astronomical Tourist"
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Reged: 04/24/04

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Quasar 3C273 new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #6494504 - 04/28/14 07:01 PM

Larry, 3C273 is about 2.5 billion light years away. I think you added a "1" to the front end.

All in all, they are fascinating objects. Here is my observation from years ago.

3C273 17.5" f/4.5 Dugas Rd. Seeing=6/10, Transparency=7/10 This is the brightest quasar. There is a finder chart in Burnham's Handbook and that is how I found it at 100X. There is another pretty faint star nearby and it demanded 200X for confirmation. Of course, it was just a point of light at any power. Boy, I wish I had a telescope that would make quasars something other than a point of light! I wonder what an evening on the Hubble Space Telescope will cost? How could you get your eye to the eyepiece with a space helmet on your head? What would happen if you took it off for a quick peek?


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Fuzzyguy
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Colorado/Kansas
Re: Quasar 3C273 new [Re: stevecoe]
      #6497919 - 04/30/14 11:43 AM

OOPS! Sorry

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