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MSH 04-12

aka Q0405-0012
RA: 04h07m48.5s, Dec: -1211'36" (2000) in Eridanus
Visual Magnitude: 14.9
Light Time: 4.9 Gyr (z = 0.57)

Minimum requirements to detect: 8-inch scope under dark skies

MSH 04-12 is a fairly bright quasar in Eridanus. This one's really obscure, so if you observe this object you can rest assured that few others have done so.

The redshift of this quasar is 0.57, which corresponds to a light travel time of about 5 billion years, some three times as far as the most observed nearby quasar, 3C 273.  I found it easy too see in my 18" and it should be visible from dark locations in telescopes as small as 8 inches.


The quasar lies about 3o to the northeast of Zaurak (Gamma Eri). The field of view above is about 30o and stars are drawn to 9.5 magnitude. Up and down are inverted to match a finder with a diagonal.

The field in an 18" at 94x, as seen in a 27mm Panoptic. North is down and east is right.

This DSS image from SkyView shows a 30' field around the quasar (indicated by lines). North is down and east is right.

Millennium Star Atlas Vol I Chart 306
Sky Atlas 2000 Chart 11
Uranometria 2000 Vol II Chart 268
Uranometria 2nd Ed. Chart 138
Herald-Bobroff Astroatlas B-14 C-54