Antilhue - Chile

NGC 5128 - Centaurus A
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Image Data

Designation NGC 5128,  Centaurus A,  Cen A,  Bennett 60
Object type Peculiar (Pec) type galaxy
Coordinates 13h26m   - 43°01'
Constellation Centaurus (Cen)
Description Dramatic dust lanes that run across the galaxy's center mark Cen A.  These dust lanes are so thick they almost completely obscure the galaxy's center in visible light.  This is particularly unusual as Cen A's red stars and round shape are characteristic of a giant elliptical galaxy, a galaxy type usually low in dark dust.  Cen A, also known as NGC 5128, is also unusual compared to an average elliptical galaxy because it contains a higher proportion of young blue stars and is a very strong source of radio emission.  Evidence indicates that Cen A is likely the result of the collision of two normal galaxies.   Its 60,000 light year span fills this 14 x 21 arcmin field of view.  Centauraus A is the closest active galaxy:  together with NGC 4945 and M 83, it forms part of a small group of galaxies 13 million lightyears away.

Here is a wide field view taken with a 6" (155mm) refractor telescope.

Exposure LRGB 120:90:90:90 min @ -15°C, RGB binned 2x2
Camera SBIG ST-10XE selfguided + CFW8 with Astrodon Tru-Balance LRGB filter set.
Optics RCOS 14.5" Ritchey-Chrétien with AP 0.67X reducer working at f/6.56
Mount Astro-Physics AP1200GTO
Software MaxIm DL/CCD, DeBloomer, Sigma Pre Beta 11, Adobe Photoshop CS
Location - Date - Time San Esteban (Chile) - 20Mar04 @ 08:00 UTC
Conditions Transparency 6,  Seeing 7, Temperature +14°C