In visible light, 3C273 is the brightest quasar in our sky. Its name signifies that it was the 273rd object of the 1959 Third Cambridge Catalog of Radio Sources (3C). Exactly 50 years ago – on March 16 1963 – astronomer Maarten Schmidt of Caltech had a revelation about the nature of 3C273 that changed the way people think about the universe.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.