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Centaurus A galaxy, IR image

Centaurus A galaxy, IR image


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Centaurus A galaxy (NGC 5128), infrared image from the Spitzer Space Telescope (SST). Infrared images allow astronomers to see details in and behind dust clouds that obscure objects in visible light. The centre of Centaurus A is usually obscured by a massive dust lane, but here is the central spot. The rectangular line that surrounds the centre is considered the remains of a galaxy that collided with Centaurus A. Centaurus A is about 10 million light years away in the constellation Centaurus. This image (obtained in 2004) shows infrared emissions at wavelengths of 5.8 and 8.0 microns to highlight dust and not stars. Image R670/031 shows a wider range of IR sources, including stars.

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