Thursday, April 12, 2012

Light from the other side of the Universe

Image 1: Two Quasars near Messier 106

Quasars are active galaxy cores. One can not differ them from "normal" stars except one checks their spectrum being literally shifted to the red. This is a doppler effect and we call it Redshift.

Two Quasars are visible in the photo above:
  • Quasar RX J121803.82+470854.6 with a magnitude of 21.04 mag and a redshift of z=1.743
  • Quasar SDSS J121732.69+465829.3 with magnitude of 18.4 mag and a redshift of z=1.99071
Our Universe expands and these redshift values indicate extreme distances. The photo above is taken from the city by using amateur equipment, i.e. five inches telescope and a color camera QHY8L with Sony ICX413 sensor in only 7x900 second exposures. An IDAS LPS P2 filter is used to block the light pollution of the nearby city lights. The photo can be downloaded here.

Image 2: Messier 106 and its neightbourhood

The photo above shows the original image where both Quasars are located. Both of them are in the same field of view with Messier 106 in the constellation of Canes Venatici.