Share

News Release Archive:

News Release 884 of 961

June 9, 1993 12:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-1993-15

A Lighthouse Beacon From the Core of an Active Galaxy

Back

Image: Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 5728: A Lighthouse Beacon From the Core of an Active Galaxy

Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 5728: A Lighthouse Beacon From the Core of an Active GalaxySTScI-PRC1993-15

Screen-use options: These files are created for viewing on your monitor

Highest-quality download options: The best resolution available


ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

[Right] - A NASA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) view of the core of the barred spiral Seyfert galaxy NGC 5728 reveals a spectacular bi-conical beam of light that is ionizing the gas in the central region of the galaxy.

This image is being presented at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Berkeley, California by Dr. Andrew Wilson of the Space Telescope Science institute (STScI), Baltimore, Maryland.

Because NGC 5728 is an active galaxy, the core might contain a super massive black hole surrounded by a disk of gas, according to astronomers. This hot disk glows with ultraviolet light. However, a dense ring of gas blocks Hubble's view of the black hole and glowing accretion disk. The visible and ultraviolet light escapes along the open ends of the gas "donut" several thousands of light- years from the nucleus. The ring thus shapes the escaping ultraviolet light into two lighthouse beacon style "ionization cones."

The image was made September 4, 1992 with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera (WFPC) in PC mode. Exposures were obtained in the light of doubly-ionized oxygen and neutral hydrogen.

[Left] - A ground based image of the bared spiral galaxy NUC 5728, located 125 million light-years away in the constellation Libra

Object Name: NUC 5728

Image Type: Astronomical/Annotated

Right Credit: Andrew S. Wilson (STScI)/NASA

Right Co-investigators: James A. Braatz (Univ. Of Maryland), Timothy M. Heckman (STScI), Julian H. Krolik (JHU), and George K. Miley (Leiden Observatory).

Left Courtesy of: Allan Sandage, Carnegie Observatories