APM 08279+5255 (North Up, East Left)
APM 08279+5255 is a very distant, broad absorption line quasar located in the constellation Lynx. It was initially identified as a quasar in 1998 during an Automatic Plate Measuring Facility (APM) survey to find carbon stars in the galactic alo. The combination of its high redshift (z=3.9) and brightness (particularly in the infrared) ake it the most luminous object yet seen in the universe. It was suspected of being a gravitationally lensed object, with its luminosity magnified, but even accounting for the magnification, the uasar has a luminosity of 10 14 to 10 15 times the luminosity of the sun. It is considered that APM 08279+5255 is a giant elliptical galaxy with large amounts of gas and dust and an active galactic nucleus (AGN) at its core. The AGN is radio-quiet with no evidence for a relativistic jet. It is powered by one of he largest known supermassive black holes, up to 23 billion solar masses. The black hole is surrounded by an accretion disk of material spiraling into it, a few parsecs in size. Further out is a dust torus, a doughnut shaped cloud of dust and gas with a radius of about 100 parsecs. Both the accretion disk and ust torus appear to be almost face-on to us. In 2008 and 2009 the intensities of its water vapor pectral lines were measured, revealing it to be the largest mass of water in the known universe—100 trillion times more water than that held in all of Earth's oceans combined. Thus water as been prevalent in the known universe for nearly its entire existence, the radiation having been emitted 1.6 billion years after the Big Bang. This image comprises 10 x Luminance (300 seconds each) and 5 x Red, Green and Blue (180, 182 and 147 seconds each), 0.5m f/2.9 ASA Astrograph with FLI ML3200 camera at an altitude of 65 degrees over two nights, 13 March 018 and 3 January 2019. The fields of view are 32' x 21' and 18' x 12', respectively. The quasar s the orange/yellow objectin the dentre of the image.
Hills Observatory: 1 January 2013 to 26 May 2020