The unusual quasar HE 2347-4342

This is a direct image of HE 2347-4342 at the centre of a 7.5 x 7.5 arcmin 2 sky field. HE 2347-4342 was discovered in October 1995 by Lutz Wisotzki from the University of Hamburg; the 'HE' stands for Hamburg-ESO . The visual magnitude is 16.1, i.e. `only' 10,000 times fainter than what can be seen with the naked eye; this makes it one of the apparently brightest quasars in the sky found so far. Still, it is quite distant - the measured redshift is z = 2.885.

This places it at a distance that implies a look-back time of more than 80% of the age of the Universe. We thus observe it, as it was, just a few billion years after the Big Bang. Being so bright in the sky and yet so distant means that HE 2347-4342 must be one of the intrinsically brightest objects in the Universe. In fact, it is no less than 10 15 times more luminous than the Sun, or 10,000 times brighter than the entire Milky Way galaxy in which we live.



About the Image

Release date:1 August 1997
Related releases:eso9720
Size:529 x 529 px

About the Object

Name:HE 2347-4342
Type:Early Universe : Galaxy : Activity : AGN : Quasar
Distance:z=2.885 (redshift)
Category:Quasars and Black Holes

Image Formats

Large JPEG
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Screensize JPEG
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Position (RA):23 50 34.31
Position (Dec):-43° 25' 59.13"
Field of view:7.48 x 7.48 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 0.3° left of vertical

Colours & filters

OpticalESO 1-metre telescope


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