News Release Archive:

News Release 802 of 1051

September 10, 1997 09:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-1997-28

Hubble Finds a Bare Black Hole Pouring Out Light


Image: Black Hole's Disk is Flooded With Ultraviolet Light

Black Hole's Disk is Flooded With Ultraviolet LightSTScI-PRC1997-28a

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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has provided a never-before-seen view of a warped disk flooded with a torrent of ultraviolet light from hot gas trapped around a suspected massive black hole.

This composite image of the core of the galaxy was constructed by combining a visible light image taken with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), with a separate image taken in ultraviolet light with the Faint Object Camera (FOC). While the visible light image shows a dark dust disk, the ultraviolet image (color-coded blue) shows a bright feature along one side of the disk. Because Hubble sees ultraviolet light reflected from only one side of the disk, astronomers conclude the disk must be warped like the brim of a hat. The bright white spot at the image's center is light from the vicinity of the black hole which is illuminating the disk.

A ground-based telescopic view of the core of the elliptical galaxy NGC 6251. The inset box shows Hubble Space Telescope's field of view. The galaxy is 300 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Minor.

Object Name: NGC 6251

Image Type: Astronomical/Annotated

Credit: Philippe Crane (European Southern Observatory) and NASA


The above montage includes these images:

NGC 6251 Image Type: Astronomical NGC 6251 NGC 6251 Image Type: Astronomical NGC 6251

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