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The “meal” of Centaurus A

Comparison between a visible-light image (left) of Centaurus A, as seen with the FORS2 instrument on the Very Large Telescope (VLT), and a near-infared view (right) obtained with the SOFI instrument on ESO’s New Technology Telescope, at La Silla. Centaurus A (NGC 5128) is the nearest giant, elliptical galaxy, at a distance of about 12 million light-years. Between 200 and 700 million years ago, this galaxy is believed to have consumed a smaller spiral, gas-rich galaxy — the contents of which appear to be churning inside Centaurus A’s core, triggering new generations of star birth. The SOFI image was specially processed to look through the dust, providing a clear view of the centre and revealing a previously unknown ring of stars and clusters. The field of view is about 4 x 4 arcminutes.

Credit:

ESO/Y. Beletsky

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About the Image

Id:eso0944b
Type:Observation
Release date:20 November 2009
Related releases:eso0944
Size:3012 x 1551 px

About the Object

Name:Centaurus A
Type:• Local Universe : Galaxy
• Local Universe : Galaxy : Component : Central Black Hole
• X - Galaxies
Distance:13 million light years

Image Formats

Large JPEG
751.7 KB
Screensize JPEG
132.0 KB

Wallpapers

1024x768
216.2 KB
1280x1024
306.8 KB
1600x1200
404.3 KB
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480.7 KB
2048x1536
574.5 KB

Colours & filters

BandTelescope
Optical
B
Very Large Telescope
FORS2
Infrared
J
New Technology Telescope
SofI
Optical
V
Very Large Telescope
FORS2
Infrared
H
New Technology Telescope
SofI
Optical
R
Very Large Telescope
FORS2
Infrared
K
New Technology Telescope
SofI

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