NATIONAL OPTICAL ASTRONOMY OBSERVATORIES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL OPTICAL ASTRONOMY OBSERVATORIES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Centaurus A galaxy (NGC 5128), enhanced optical image. The galaxy appears elliptical, but contains a wide central dust lane (black) that is thought to have formed following a collision with a spiral galaxy. The collision also formed young and bright blue stars around the dust lane. Centaurus A also emits strong radio waves, being the most powerful nearby source, as well as X-rays and gamma rays. It lies around 10 million light years away in the constellation Centaurus. Image taken by the Blanco 4-metre telescope, Cerro Tololo, Chile.
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