Quasars : 3c279

Quasars : 3C279

The bright object in the center of the false color image above is quasar 3C279 viewed in gamma-rays, photons with more than 40 million times the energy of visible light.

Like all quasars, 3C279 is a nondescript, faint, star-like object in the visible sky. Yet, in June of 1991 a gamma-ray telescope onboard NASA's orbiting Compton Gamma Ray Observatory unexpectedly discovered that it was one of the brightest objects in the gamma-ray sky.

Shortly after this image was recorded the quasar faded from view at gamma-ray energies. Astronomers are still trying to understand what causes these enigmatic objects to flare so violently. Another quasar, 3C273, is faintly visible above and to the right of center.

Image : EGRET NASA Compton Observatory


GB 1508
SS 433



11 Dec 2018 : : Quasars : 3C279