The Dust Lane of NGC 5128 (Centaurus A)
AAO image reference AAT 52.    « Previous || Next »

The Dust Lane of NGC 5128 (Centaurus A), ngc5128.jpg, cena.jpg
Top left is NE. Image width is about 10 arc min
Image and text © 1987-2010, Australian Astronomical Observatory, photograph by David Malin.

The nearby radio source Centaurus A (NGC 5128) looks like an elliptical galaxy, crossed by a broad, irregular dust lane. The dark band is probably the remains of a dusty spiral galaxy which is being absorbed by the giant elliptical. The three plates which were combined to make this colour picture have been copied to enhance the fine detail of the dust lane and to suppress the bright background of the elliptical galaxy. This process reveals many tiny red star-forming regions, especially prominent towards the end of the dust lane, and the clumps of young blue stars recently formed from them. The curious green star in the dust lane is because the blue and green-light plates were taken when supernova 1986g had just appeared, while the red-light plate was taken a year later when the supernova had faded.

This galaxy has a huge, faint halo of stars seen in this very deep image made using special photographic techniques.

Related Images
AAT 7.       NGC 5128 (Centaurus A)
AAT 7a.     Centaurus A, NGC 5128 (wide field)
UKS 32.    The field of NGC 5128 (Centaurus A, landscape format)
n5128_d    NGC 5128, deep image
n5128_ud  NGC 5128, ultra-deep image
Constellation of Centaurus (external site)

For details of photographic exposure, search technical table by AAT reference number.

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Updated by David Malin, 2010, August 1