31 July 2006

3C273 spits light

3C273

Here we see a Spitzer shot of a QUASAR spitting out an amazing array of light — everything from high ultra-violet to low infra-red.

3C273 was the first QUASAR, discovered in 1963 (I was a whole year old) & is left of the actual image; you can see the energy (colour) of the ejections fading redwards toward the right.

JPL & NASA explain the flares as charged particles spiralling through the QUASAR’s magnetic field (“synchrotron radiation”).

Sorry, I can’t quite step past this quip: “What a spin-out!”

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