The dust band in Centaurus A

Centaurus A is the closest active elliptical galaxy and one of the strongest radio sources in the sky. This image shows part of the dust lane that obscures the central regions of the galaxy. This complex structure is believed to be the result of the recent collision between the old elliptical galaxy and a dwarf, gas-rich galaxy. Intense star formation is taking place within the violently stirred gas during the merging event.

This image was taken with the Test Camera of the VLT UT1 telescope on May 22, 1998, during a short, 10 sec exposure through a red filtre to demonstrate the great light collecting power of the 53 m 2 mirror of the VLT UT1. It shows a great deal of fine details. The image quality is about 0.49 arcsec.

The insert shows a complete view of Centaurus A taken with another telescope. The brightest stars are foreground objects located within our own galaxy, but clusters of recently formed stars are visible at the edge of the dust lane.

With powerful infra-red detectors to be mounted on the VLT later this year, astronomers will soon be able to probe deep into the dust lane, infrared light being less absorbed by dust than red light.



À propos de l'image

Date de publication:27 mai 1998
Communiqués de presse en rapport:eso9820
Taille:1371 x 1554 px

À propos de l'objet

Nom:Centaurus A, NGC 5128
Type:Local Universe : Planet : Satellite
Local Universe : Galaxy : Component : Central Black Hole
Distance:13 million années lumière
Quasars and Black Holes

Image Formats

Grand JPEG
825,6 Kio
JPEG taille écran
393,3 Kio

Fonds d'écran

365,4 Kio
595,4 Kio
801,2 Kio
875,8 Kio
1,1 Mio

Couleurs & filtres

Very Large Telescope

Exposure time: 10s