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Radio galaxy Centaurus A

Radio galaxy Centaurus A

R890/0024

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Credit

CELESTIAL IMAGE CO. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CELESTIAL IMAGE CO. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Centaurus A radio galaxy. True-colour optical image of the active galaxy Centaurus A (NGC 5128) in the constellation Centaurus. This elliptical galaxy is surrounded by a ring of dust and gas, which we see as a dark band crossing the galaxy. At radio wavelengths, two enormous lobes are visible extending out at right angles to the dust lane. At the galaxy's centre lies a cluster of enormous hot stars, and it is thought this cluster also contains a massive black hole. Centaurus A is 16 million light years away, making it the nearest active galaxy to Earth. This image was produced by digitally combining photographs taken by the UK Schmidt Telescope in blue and red light.

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