Frankfurt Quasar Monitoring

PG 1211+143
Object data

  Cross-Identifications   1ES 1211+143, RX J1214.3+1403, QSO B1211+143
  XSS J12164+1427, 2E 1211.7+1419, 1211+143
  PB 3894, PGC 39086, LEDA 39086, RBS 1081
  SDSS J121417.70+140313.0, 2E 2620

  Equat. coordinates   RA  12 14 17.7     DE  +14 03 13     (J2000)
  Constellation   Coma Berenices
  Type   QSO
  Redshift   z=0.080
  Distance (2) (3)
  331 Mpc
  Total mag range (mv) (4) (5)   13.9 - 14.8
  Catalog Magnitude (1)   14.19
  Absolute Magnitude (1)   -24.0 MB
  Light Travel-Time (2)   1.038 × 109 yrs
(1) Véron-Cetty & Véron 2006, A&A 455, 776
(2) NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database
(3) Co-Moving Radial Distance
(4) Frankfurt Quasar Monitoring
(5) Literature

Finding chart


Objects in the field above:
CI Com: var. 13.6-14.0 mv,
type W UMa
PGC 39060 = CGCG 69-94: 15.3 mB, 0.7´× 0.4´, type S

Comparison stars

star B V
1 15.114 (0.058)
14.526 (0.043)
2 15.332 (0.042)
14.601 (0.027)
3 15.826 (0.059) 15.015 (0.040)
15.952 (0.037) 15.242 (0.023)
comparison stars from APASS (DR6)

Colour chart

Credit: SDSS  /  Size 13´× 13´ /  Chart by S. Karge

Light curve


PG 1211+143 is a bright radio-quiet quasar in south-western Coma Berenices, close to the constellation Virgo. Quasar PG 1211+143 is located in the far cosmological background of the western part of the Virgo galaxy cluster - only about 1° away from the bright galaxies M 98, M 99 and NGC 4216.
PG 1211+143 was discovered as a "blue stellar object" in the 1970s by the Palomar-Berger Blue Star Survey (PB). With the same optical property, it was also cataloged by the Palomar-Green Bright Quasar Survey (PG). Follow-up spectroscopy led to the quasar classification (NLS1-spectrum). Gravitational interaction with a close companion galaxy seems to be responsible for the quasar activity of PG:1211+143.
The mass of the central supermassive black hole of 1211+143 is considered as 4x1
07 solar masses.
In the 1980s, this quasar was identified as an X-ray source by the Einstein satellite (1ES). Furthermore, PG:1211+143 was also observed by the International Ultraviolet Explorer IUE.

PG 1211+143 is a low amplitude variable object, ranging between 13m.9 - 14m.8. For visual observers with telescopes of 8- to 10-inch of aperture this quasar is a nice observing target. It appears as a stellar object even with large aperture telescopes. Finding PG 1211+143 is an easy task through its position close to a star pattern dubbed the "T", consisting of a group of mag 6 stars, including star 6 Com.

CCD observers, as well as visual observers, shall use the comparison stars given above.

In case you look for another bright quasar you may turn to PG 1116+215, a bright 14-mag object at a distance of about 2×109 light-years, 15° NW of PG 1211+143.
CCD observers may identify another quasar in their frames: 4C 14.46, only 2´W of
PG 1211+143 (see colour chart above). Quasar 4C 14.46 is a faint 19-mag stellar object with a redshift of z=1.28 (data based on Véron-Cetty et al. 2010).

The star field around quasar
PG 1211+143 is peppered with bright galaxies as we look towards the western part of the Virgo galaxy cluster. The bright galaxies M98, M99 and NGC 4216 are only about 1° away, respectively. The nearest bright galaxy is Sc-spiral NGC 4208 (11m.8), only 20´ away to the SW.

By turning 4.3° to the SW we find ourselves at the centre of the Virgo galaxy cluster, marked by M87, a giant elliptical which contains a supermassive black hole of approximately 6.5×109 solar masses. Observers with large aperture telescopes may also recognize the famous jet, emerging from the brilliant active centre, reaching out some few arcseconds to the NE. Steady air and high magnification are required. Cruising around the numerous galaxies of Virgo cluster is a pleasure. You shall use a telescope of at least 8-inch of aperture or larger.

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Sloan Digital Sky Survey

© Stefan Karge  /  last obs. 2022-12-23