The most luminous object in the universe - A challenge for any paradigm

A. Lawrence, M. Rowan-Robinson, S. M. Scarrott, R. G. McMahon, T. J. Broadhurst

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We have identified an IRAS source with a narrow emission line object at z=2.286. It is arguably the most luminous known object, but is not a quasar; it could be a hidden quasar or possibly a proto-galaxy. New observations show asymmetric structure to the NNE in optical and near-IR images, and an elongated radio source, whose major axis is perpendicular to the extended optical emission. The object is very highly polarized, suggesting that most or all of the optical-UV light we see is scattered light, and that the source geometry is highly anisotropic. These properties are reminiscent of Type 2 Seyfert galaxies and high-redshift radio galaxies; on the other hand the diffuse nature of the radio source argues strongly for a burst of star formation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTesting the AGN paradigm diagnostics
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1992


  • Infrared Imagery
  • Light Scattering
  • Luminous Intensity
  • Red Shift
  • Seyfert Galaxies
  • Spectral Line Width
  • Emission Spectra
  • Infrared Astronomy Satellite
  • Near Infrared Radiation
  • Quasars
  • Radio Galaxies
  • Star Formation
  • Universe


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