JERRY LODRIGUSS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JERRY LODRIGUSS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Centaurus A galaxy (NGC 5128), 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 formed new 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. A galaxy consists of millions, usually billions, of stars orbiting a common centre of gravity. There are hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe.
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