Quasar PG 0052+251

This image shows quasar PG 0052+251, which is 1.4 thousand million light-years from Earth, at the core of a normal spiral galaxy. Astronomers are surprised to find host galaxies, such as this one, that appear undisturbed by the strong quasar radiation.Quasars reside in a variety of galaxies, from normal to highly disturbed. When seen through ground-based telescopes, these compact, enigmatic light sources resemble stars, yet they are thousand of millions of light-years away and several hundred thousand million times brighter than normal stars. Astronomers believe that a quasar turns on when a massive black hole at the nucleus of a galaxy feeds on gas and stars. As the matter falls into the black hole, intense radiation is emitted. Eventually, the black hole will stop emitting radiation once it consumes all nearby matter. Then it needs debris from a collision of galaxies or another process to provide more fuel.

This image shows quasar PG 0052+251, which is 1.4 billion light-years from Earth, at the core of a normal spiral galaxy. Astronomers are surprised to find host galaxies, such as this one, that appear undisturbed by the strong quasar radiation.

Credit:

John Bahcall (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton) Mike Disney (University of Wales) and NASA/ESA

About the Image

NASA press release
Id:opo9635a1
Type:Observation
Release date:19 November 1996, 15:00
Size:296 x 296 px

About the Object

Name:PG 0052+251, QSO B0052+2509
Type:• Early Universe : Galaxy : Activity : AGN : Quasar
• X - Quasars/AGN/Black Hole Images/Videos
Distance:z=0.154 (redshift)

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
V
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2

Image Formats

Large JPEG
109.6 KB
Screensize JPEG
462.3 KB

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