Hubble spies eight green filaments lit up by past quasar blasts

This image shows the winding green filaments observed by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope within eight different galaxies. The ethereal wisps in these images were illuminated, perhaps briefly, by a blast of radiation from a quasar — a very luminous and compact region that surrounds a supermassive black hole at the centre of a galaxy.

In each of these eight images a quasar beam has caused once-invisible filaments in deep space to glow through a process called photoionisation. Oxygen, helium, nitrogen, sulphur and neon in the filaments absorb light from the quasar and slowly re-emit it over many thousands of years. Their unmistakable emerald hue is caused by ionised oxygen, which glows green.

The Hubble team found a total of twenty galaxies that had gas ionised by quasars; those featured here are (from left to right on top row) the Teacup (more formally known as 2MASX J14302986+1339117), NGC 5972, 2MASX J15100402+0740370 and UGC 7342, and (from left to right on bottom row) NGC 5252, Mrk 1498, UGC 11185 and 2MASX J22014163+1151237.

Credit:

NASA, ESA, Galaxy Zoo Team and W. Keel (University of Alabama, USA)

About the Image

Id:heic1507a
Type:Collage
Release date:2 April 2015, 17:00
Related releases:heic1507
Size:4932 x 2338 px

About the Object

Name:2MASX J14302986+1339117, 2MASX J15100402+0740370, 2MASX J22014163+1151237, Mrk 1498, NGC 5252, NGC 5972, Teacup Galaxy, UGC 11185, UGC 7342
Type:Local Universe : Nebula : Appearance : Emission
Local Universe : Galaxy : Activity : AGN : Quasar
Category:Nebulae
Quasars and Black Holes

Image Formats

Large JPEG
3.9 MB
Screensize JPEG
111.5 KB

Zoomable


Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
B
Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
R
Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
R
621 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
Oiii
551 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
Oiii
505 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
Oiii
533 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2

R+I
Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
G
Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Infrared
I
763 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
H-alpha + Nii
716 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
H-alpha + Nii
656 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
H-alpha + Nii
673 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

Also see our


Accelerated by CDN77