Galaxy NGC 6251 Nucleus

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 centre is light from the vicinity of the black hole which is illuminating the disk.


Philippe Crane (European Southern Observatory), and NASA/ESA

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:10 September 1997, 15:00
Size:438 x 440 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 6251
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Activity : AGN
Distance:350 million light years
Constellation:Ursa Minor
Category:Quasars and Black Holes

Image Formats

Large JPEG
79.6 KB
Screensize JPEG
184.0 KB


Position (RA):16 32 32.02
Position (Dec):82° 32' 13.23"
Field of view:0.03 x 0.03 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 89.9° left of vertical

Colours & filters

Hubble Space Telescope
Optical Hubble Space Telescope

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