Spectrum of Redshift 5.0 Quasar

Spectrum of Redshift 5.0 Quasar

This graph shows part of the spectrum of the most distant quasar currently known, with a redshift of 5.0. One of the identifying characteristics of quasars is the large Lyman-alpha emission peak, a feature that would appear in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum if the source were not redshifted. For this particular quasar, the peak lies in the near infrared just beyond the range of human vision -- a factor of six increase in the wavelength. Aside from this extreme redshift, the spectrum otherwise is very similar to those of more nearby quasars.
Image credit: SDSS Collaboration

This image is also available as a PostScript file.

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