3C 454.3

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3C 454.3
267641main allsky labeled HI.jpg
Fermi-LAT gamma-ray image, including 3C 454.3
Observation data (Epoch J2000)
Constellation Pegasus
Right ascension 22h 53m 57.7s[1]
Declination +16° 08′ 53.6″[1]
Redshift 0.859001 ± 0.000170[1]
Distance 7.7 Gly
Type Blazar/Quasar
Apparent magnitude (V) 16.1[1]
See also: Quasar, List of quasars

3C 454.3 is a blazar (a type of quasar with a jet oriented toward Earth) located away from the galactic plane. It is one of the brightest gamma ray sources in the sky,[2] and is the most luminous astronomical object ever observed, with a maximum absolute magnitude of -31.4.[3] It has the brightest blazar gamma ray flare recorded, twice as bright as the Vela Pulsar in the Milky Way galaxy. It also flares at radio and visible wavelengths – in red light, the blazar brightened by more than 2.5 times to magnitude 13.7 – and it is very bright at high radio frequencies.[4]

It appears in Pegasus, near Alpha Pegasi (Markab). It has been known to occasionally outburst, brightening to a peak apparent magnitude of 13.4 in June 2014.[5][6]


In July and August 2007, the gamma-ray blazar 3C 454.3 flared to near-historic levels, only two years after its record-breaking 2005 optical flare. Luckily, Spitzer Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory were already scheduled for simultaneous observations. Swift, RXTE and the new gamma-ray AGILE spacecraft responded to this target of opportunity, and were joined by observatories around the world.

The Fermi Large Area Telescope AGN science group started a multiwavelength campaign for blazar 3C454.3 (2251+158), in July and continuing through August 2007. This Ad Hoc Intensive Campaign (AIC) was prompted by brightening in the radio, optical and X-ray.



  1. ^ a b c d "SIMBAD entry for 3C 454.3". Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Atkinson, Nancy. "Top Ten Gamma Ray Sources From the Fermi Telescope". Universe Today. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "The most luminous quasar state ever observed". Calar Alto Observatory. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "NASA - Fermi Sees Brightest-Ever Blazar Flare". NASA. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  5. ^ King, Bob. "Observing Alert: Distant Blazar 3C 454.3 in Outburst, Visible in Amateur Telescopes". Universe Today. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  6. ^ "Light Curve Generator for 3C 454.3". American Association of Variable Star Observers. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 

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