S5 0014+81 is a distant, compact, hyperluminous, broad-absorption line quasaror blazar located near the high declination region of the constellation Cepheus, near the North Equatorial Pole.
The object is a blazar, in fact an OVV (optically violent variable) quasar, the most energetic subclass of objects known as active galactic nuclei, produced by the rapid accretion of matter by a central supermassive black hole, changing the gravitational energy to light energy that can be visible at cosmic distances. In the case of S5 0014+81 it is one of the most luminous quasars known, with a total luminosity of over 1041 watts, equal to an absolute bolometric magnitude of -31.5. If the quasar were at a distance of 280 light-years from Earth, it would give as much energy per square meter as the Sun despite being 18 million times more distant. The quasar's luminosity is therefore about 3 x 1014(300 trillion) times the Sun, or over 25,000 times as luminous as all the 100 to 400 billion stars of the Milky Way Galaxy combined, making it one of the most powerful objects in the universe. However, because of its huge distance of 12.1 billion light-years it can only be studied by spectroscopy. The central black hole of the quasar devours an extremely huge amount of matter, equivalent to 4,000 solar masses of material every year.
The quasar is also a very strong source of radiation, from gamma-rays and X-rays down to radio waves. The quasar is located at a distance where the observed redshift of quasars and stars are extremely similar, making the two objects difficult to distinguish using the standard spectroscopic redshift and the photometric redshift determination, and hence must be treated by other special techniques to successfully determine the nature of the object.
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