Hubble Probes the Heart of a Nearby Quasar

The Hubble Space Telescope's new Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) has provided the clearest view yet in visible light of the nearby quasar, 3C 273 [image at right]. Using the new camera's coronagraph to block the light from the brilliant central quasar, astronomers discovered that the quasar's host galaxy is significantly more complex than had been suggested in previous observations.

Features in the surrounding galaxy that are normally drowned out by the quasar's glow now show up clearly. The ACS reveals a spiral plume wound around the quasar and a red dust lane. Material in the form of a clump and a blue arc are shown in the path of a jet that was blasted from the quasar.

Credit:

WFPC2: NASA and J. Bahcall (IAS), A. Martel (JHU), H. Ford (JHU), M. Clampin (STScI), G. Hartig (STScI), G. Illingworth (UCO/Lick Observatory), the ACS Science Team and ESA

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo0303b
Type:Collage
Release date:9 January 2003, 18:19
Size:3000 x 2400 px

About the Object

Name:3C 273, IRAS 12265+0219, QSO B1226+023
Type:• Early Universe : Galaxy : Activity : AGN : Quasar
• X - Quasars/AGN/Black Hole Images/Videos
Distance:z=0.158 (redshift)

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
V
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
B
475 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
OIII
502 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
V
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

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