NGC 5128 Galaxy Centaurus A

Fred Calvert, Cold Spring Observatory

One of the closest active radio galaxies to Earth, Centaurus A contains a super massive black hole in it center estimated to be over a billion times the mass of our sun - the result of a elliptical galaxy merging with a smaller companion spiral galaxy. Centaurus A is a peculiar elliptical galaxy spanning some 60,000 light years across at a distance of 11 million light years from Earth. It was discovered by Scottish astronomer James Dunlop in 1826 from his home in New South Wales, Australia and is located North of the Southern Cross in the constellation Centaurus. In 2015 the European Space Agency's Very Large Telescope in Chile observed in Centaurus A what is proposed as a new class of star clusters call dark globular clusters because of their unusually high mass and dark matter components when  compared to the amount of stars in the cluster. Normal globular star clusters are normally considered to be almost devoid of dark matter. Data for this image was collected using a Planewave 27" f/6.6 telescope and FLI PL 09000 CCD camera. Exposure times were 45 minutes Luminous and 15 minutes each for Red, Green and Blue.

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