Distribution of quasars on the sky
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It is shown that high-redshift quasars of bright apparent magnitude are concentrated in the direction of the centre of the Local Group of galaxies. A number of them are distributed along a line originating from the Local Group companion galaxy, M 33. A similar, but shorter and fainter line of quasars is seen emanating from the spiral galaxy NGC 300 in the next nearest, Sculptor Group of galaxies.
The concentration of bright quasars in the Local Group direction is supported by bright radio sources catalogued in high-frequency surveys. One of the consequences of this large-scale inhomogeneity is to explain the different gradient of radio source counts in the direction of the Local Supercluster, a result discovered in 1978 but never investigated further.
Previously reported homogeneity and isotropy of radio-source counts over the sky would seem to be an effect of integrating nearby, large-scale groupings with more distant, smaller-scale groupings over different directions in the sky. More careful analyses as a function of flux strength and spectral index on various scales over the sky are now required. Previous conclusions about radio source and quasar luminosity and number evolution drawn from logN- logS counts would then need to be re-evaluated.
Key wordsquasars, alignment galaxies, Local Group, Sculptor Group radio sources, counts
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