Centaurus A Galaxy

Centaurus A Galaxy

 

Astronomy has always had a significant input from amateur scientists and observers, but modern electronic imaging allows collaborations on a new scale. Here, an image made by an amateur astronomer in visible light with a home-made telescope has been combined with infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope and X-ray data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, both in Earth orbit. The X-ray data, seen here as pink, highlight huge jets of material being ejected from around a supermassive black hole in the core of this galaxy, called Centaurus A or NGC 5128. The galaxy is the fifth brightest in the night sky, and lies between ten and sixteen million light years from Earth. It is noted for the dark dust lane seen crossing the centre. This image spans about 160,000 light years.

Image © Visible: Rolf Olsen; X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

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