Radio Quasar 3C334

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About this Image

This image shows the radio emission from relativistic streams of high energy particles generated by the quasar. This is a classic double-lobed radio source. Astronomers believe that the jets are fueled by material accreting onto a super-massive black hole at the center of the host galaxy (not shown in this image). The high energy particles are confined to remarkably well collimated jets, and are shot into extragalactic space at speeds approaching the speed of light, where they eventually balloon into massive radio lobes. The overall linear size is 215/h kpc (Hubble constant H = 100h km/s/Mpc). This quasar has double lobes with hot spots and filaments, and a jet with a possible counterjet opposite the outer segment. The jet "richoches" entering its lobe.

The southern jet is much brighter than the counter-jet because of "Doppler Boosting". When the plasma emitting the radio radiation is moving toward us at close to the speed of light, the radiation gets focused towards us and appears more intense. The counter-jet would be moving away from us, and would thus not experience Doppler boosting. Within the nuclear radio source, features have been seen which appear to be moving at speeds faster than the speed of light. This apparent "superluminal motion" is an illusion that happens when the emitting material is moving at velocities close to, but less than, the speed of light and in a direction very close to our line of sight. Under these conditions, the signal from plasma clouds which emit their radiation later in time has less distance to travel than material which was emitted earlier, and the signal appears to arrive at the telescope in less time than the light travel time between the two regions.

Investigator(s):  Alan H. Bridle, David H. Hough, Colin J. Lonsdale, Jack O. Burns and Robert A. Laing

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Technical Data

    Telescope VLA 
    Date of Observation 1986-05-05 
    Type of Observation Continuum Observations 
    Band C 
    Wavelength 6 cm 
    Frequency 5.0 GHz 
    Center of Image RA: 16:20:21.81, Dec: 17:36:24.00 (J2000)  
    Field of View 1.0000 x 1.0000 degrees  
    Technical Caption FR II quasar at z=0.555. VLA 4.9 GHz image at 0.35 arcsec resolution.  

  • Astronomical database entries for 3C334
    • Query NED for images of 3C334
    • Query SIMBAD for more 3C334 data


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