galaxy centaurus a

Centaurus A

Centaurus A, also known as NGC 5128, is well known for its dramatic dusty lanes of dark material. Hubble’s new observations, using its most advanced instrument, the Wide Field Camera 3, are the most detailed ever made of this galaxy. They have been combined here in a multi-wavelength image which reveals never-before-seen detail in the dusty portion of the galaxy.

Credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble 

The Arrhythmic Beating of a Black Hole Heart : At the center of the Centaurus galaxy cluster, there is a large elliptical galaxy called NGC 4696. Deeper still, there is a supermassive black hole buried within the core of this galaxy. New data from NASAs Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes has revealed details about this giant black hole.

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Centaurus A Extreme Deep Field

Centaurus A is the closest radio galaxy to us and is hosting an Active Galactic Nuleus (AGN) in its centre. It is believed that the twisting of magnetic fields in the accretion disk around the central supermassive black hole collimates the outflow along its rotation axis, so a resulting jet of plasma emerges from each face of the accretion disk.

Credit: Rolf Olsen

A Supernova through Galaxy Dust : Telescopes around the world are tracking a bright supernova that occurred in a nearby dusty galaxy. The powerful stellar explosion was first noted earlier this month. The nearby galaxy is the photogenic Centaurus A, visible with binoculars and known for impressive filaments of light-absorbing dust that cross its center. Cen A is featured here in a high-resolution archival Hubble Space Telescope image, with an inset image featuring the supernova taken from the ground only two days after discovery. Designated SN2016adj, the supernova is highlighted with crosshairs in the inset, appearing just to the left of a bright foreground star in our Milky Way Galaxy. This supernova is currently thought to be of Type IIb, a stellar-core-collapse supernova, and is of high interest because it occurred so nearby and because it is being seen through a known dust filament. Current and future observations of this supernova may give us new clues about the fates of massive stars and how some elements found on our Earth were formed. via NASA

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Infrared, X-ray & Optical Images of Centaurus A

Centaurus A is the fifth brightest galaxy in the sky – making it an ideal target for amateur astronomers – and is famous for the dust lane across its middle and a giant jet blasting away from the supermassive black hole at its center.  Cen A is an active galaxy about 12 million light years from Earth.

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; Optical: Rolf Olsen; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech

What’s happening at the center of elliptical galaxy NGC 4696? There, long tendrils of gas and dust have been imaged in great detail as shown by this recently released image from theHubble Space Telescope. These filaments appear to connect to the central region of the galaxy, a region thought occupied by asupermassive black hole. Speculation holds that this black hole pumps out energy that heats surrounding gas, pushes out cooler filaments of gas and dust, and shuts down star formation. Balanced by magnetic fields, these filaments then appear to spiral back in toward and eventually circle the central black hole. NGC 4696 is the largest galaxy in the Centaurus Cluster of Galaxies, located about 150 million light years from Earth. The featured imageshows a region about 45,000 light years across.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, A. Fabian, Hubble Space Telescope

What’s happening at the center of this awesome elliptical galaxy? Long filaments of gas and dust have been imaged in great detail as shown by this recently released image from the Hubble Space Telescope. They appear to connect to the middle of the galaxy, a region thought occupied by a supermassive black hole.

Speculation holds that this black hole pumps out energy that heats surrounding gas all while pushing out cooler filaments of gas and dust. Balanced by magnetic fields, these filaments then appear to spiral back in toward and eventually circle the center.

NGC 4696 is the largest galaxy in the Centaurus Cluster of Galaxies, located about 150 million light years from Earth. This image shows a region about 45,000 light years across.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, A. Fabian

(NASA)  M83: The Thousand-Ruby Galaxy
Image Credit: Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), Hubble Space Telescope,
European Southern Observatory - Processing & Copyright: Robert Gendler

Big, bright, and beautiful, spiral galaxy M83 lies a mere twelve million light-years away, near the southeastern tip of the very long constellation Hydra. Prominent spiral arms traced by dark dust lanes and blue star clusters lend this galaxy its popular name, The Southern Pinwheel. But reddish star forming regions that dot the sweeping arms highlighted in this sparkling color composite also suggest another nickname, The Thousand-Ruby Galaxy. About 40,000 light-years across, M83 is a member of a group of galaxies that includes active galaxy Centaurus A. In fact, the core of M83 itself is bright at x-ray energies, showing a high concentration of neutron stars and black holes left from an intense burst of star formation. This sharp composite color image also features spiky foreground Milky Way stars and distant background galaxies. The image data was taken from the Subaru Telescope, the European Southern Observatory’s Wide Field Imager camera, and the Hubble Legacy Archive.

What’s the closest active galaxy to planet Earth? That would be Centaurus A, only 11 million light-years distant. Spanning over 60,000 light-years, the peculiar elliptical galaxy is also known as NGC 5128. Forged in a collision of two otherwise normal galaxies, Centaurus A’s fantastic jumble of young blue star clusters, pinkish star forming regions, and imposing dark dust lanes are seen here in remarkable detail. The colorful galaxy portrait is a composite of image data from space- and ground-based telescopes large and small. Near the galaxy’s center, left over cosmic debris is steadily being consumed by a central black hole with a billion times the mass of the Sun. As in other active galaxies, that process generates the radio, X-ray, and gamma-ray energy radiated by Centaurus A.

Processing & Copyright: Robert Gendler, Roberto Colombari
Image Data: Hubble Space Telescope, European Southern Observatory

NGC 5128, otherwise known as Centaurus A, is a fairly large galaxy that is quite peculiar. Large galaxies usually are either elliptical or spiral; Centaurus A however, seems to be both at the same time. Radio imaging has revealed to us that under the veil of dust, it has hidden spiral arms. It is currently the only elliptical galaxy that we know of that also has spiral arms. Even better yet, it is the 5th brightest galaxy in the night sky, making it an ideal target for amateur astronomers so you can check this hidden gem out for yourself!