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3C 273, HIP60936

3C 273 is a quasar that can be located in the constellation of Virgo. The description is based on the spectral class. 3C 273 is not part of the constellation but is within the borders of the constellation.

The star can not be seen by the naked eye, you need a telescope to see it.

IC 273 is one of the rare examples of an object in deep space that isn't a star that was studied by the Hipparcos satellite. IC 273 was the first quasar to be identified, although it was not the first to be discovered. The first quasar to be discovered was IC 48 two years earlier in 1960.

3C 273's Alternative Names

HIP60936 is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue.

More details on star alternative names can be found at Star Names .

Location of 3C 273

The location of the star in the night sky is determined by the Right Ascension (R.A.) and Declination (Dec.), these are equivalent to the Longitude and Latitude on the Earth. The Right Ascension is how far expressed in time (hh:mm:ss) the star is along the celestial equator. If the R.A. is positive then its eastwards. The Declination is how far north or south the star is compared to the celestial equator and is expressed in degrees. For 3C 273, the location is 12h 29m 06.70 and +02° 03` 08.6 .

Physical Properties (Temperature) of 3C 273

3C 273 has a spectral type of Q. The star has a B-V Colour Index of 0.12 which means the star's temperature has been calculated using information from Morgans @ Uni.edu at being 8,178 Kelvin.

3C 273 Radius has been calculated as being 0.34 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 238,802.05.km. If you need the diameter of the star, you just need to multiple the radius by 2. The figure is derived at by using the formula from SDSS and has been known to produce widely incorrect figures.

3C 273 Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

3C 273 has an apparent magnitude of 12.88 which is how bright we see the star from Earth. Apparent Magnitude is also known as Visual Magnitude. Using the supplied Parallax value, you would get an absolute magnitude of 5.66 Magnitude, whether it be apparent/visual or absolute magnitude is measured by a number, the smaller the number, the brighter the Star is. Our own Sun is the brightest star and therefore has the lowest of all magnitudes, -26.74. A faint star will have a high number. }

Distance to 3C 273

Using the original Hipparcos data that was released in 1997, the parallax to the star was given as 3.59 which gave the calculated distance to 3C 273 as 908.53 light years away from Earth or 278.55 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 908.53 years to get there. We don't have the technology or spaceship that can carry people over that distance yet.

Source of Information

The source of the information if it has a Hip I.D. is from Simbad, the Hipparcos data library based at the University at Strasbourg, France. Hipparcos was a E.S.A. satellite operation launched in 1989 for four years. The items in red are values that I've calculated so they could well be wrong. Information regarding Metallicity and/or Mass is from the E.U. Exoplanets. The information was obtained as of 12th Feb 2017.

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3C 273 Facts

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional Name3C 273
Alternative NamesHIP 60936
Spectral TypeQ
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star Type Quasar
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationVirgo
Absolute Magnitude 5.66
Visual / Apparent Magnitude12.88
Naked Eye VisibleRequires a 4.5 - 6 Inch Telescope - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)12h 29m 06.70
Declination (Dec.)+02° 03` 08.6
Galactic Latitude64.36 degrees
Galactic Longitude289.95 degrees
Distance from Earth3.59 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 908.53 Light Years
 278.55 Parsecs
 57,454,661.43 Astronomical Units
B-V Index0.12

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Estimated Facts


Calculated Effective Temperature8,178 Kelvin

Sources and Links


SIMBAD SourceLink

Related Stars


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