NGC 5128 (Centaurus A) in Centaurus

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    12" ASA: LRGB - 100% crop 12" ASA: LRGB - original image    
    Size: 2000 px Size: 2000 px    

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© Velimir Popov & Emil Ivanov 2013

The NGC 5128 belongs to a famous group of galaxies in the southern hemisphere. There are several bright galaxies here - especially NGC 5128 and M83. NGC 5128 is the fifth brightest galaxy in the sky and one of the strangest looking galaxies in the nearby universe.

The galaxy in Centaurus, now known as NGC 5128 was first discovered by James Dunlop at the Parramatta Observatory near Sydney in 1826. NGC 5128 is also a powerful radio source known as Centaurus A. It is a most unusual object, an elliptical galaxy crossed by a dust lane. It is one of the most interesting and peculiar galaxies in the sky. It is actually the nearest radio galaxy. It is of intermediate type between elliptical and disk (spiral) galaxies: The main body has all characteristics of a large elliptical, but a pronounced dust belt is superimposed well over the center, forming a disk plane around this galaxy. The prominent dust lane obscures and reddens the light of stars behind it, though some younger, blue stars can be seen at the edges of the dust cloud, indicating recent star formation, which is not expected in an elliptical galaxy.

One of the nearer galaxies, NGC 5128 is about 11 million light years away, and host to the most powerful nearby radio source. This remarkable galaxy is also a copious source of X- and gamma rays as well as visible and infrared radiation. These are characteristics of an 'active' galaxy one where the massive black hole present in most large galaxies is actively accreting material from its surroundings. This intense activity is probably the result of the merger of a dusty spiral with an elliptical galaxy, an explanation that accounts for ths galaxy's optical appearance.

The Galaxies of the NGC 5128 Group can be found in the Atlas Of The Universe (click the link)

Object details

Right Ascension 13:25:29 (h:m:s)
Declination -43:00:58 (deg:m:s)
Distance ~ 15 000 (кly)
Apparent Dimension 25.7 x 20.0 (arc min)

Image details


Center of field RA 13:25:17 (h:m:s)
Center of field DE -43:01:19 (deg:m:s)
Size 55.6 x 38.2 (arcmin)
Pixel scale: 1.03 (arcsec/pixel)
Orientation: Up is 177 degrees E of N
Charts and image details obtained from
Optic(s): ASA 12" f 3,6 Astrograph (ASA)
Mount: ASA DDM85
Camera: FLI MicroLine 8300 CCD camera
Filters: Lum, Red, Green, Blue, Ha, OIII and SII Astrodon
Dates/Times: From 3 to17 of May 2013
Location: Namibia-TIVOLI ASTROFARM, S 23° 27' 40,9" / E 18° 01' 02,2"
Exp. Details: L:10x10min, R:8x10min, G:8x10min, B:8x10min
  Bin 1, Total Exposure Time - 340 min (5:40 hours)
More details: Dark and flat frames reduction
Processing: PixInsight / PS
Copyright: Velimir Popov and Emil Ivanov 2013. All Rights Reserved
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