The field of NGC 5128 (Centaurus A), wide field.
AAO image reference UKS 32.    « Previous || Next »

NGC 5128, Centaurus A
Top left is NE. Image width is about 1.25 degrees
Image and text 1999-2010, © Australian Astronomical Observatory. Photograph from UK Schmidt plates by David Malin.


NGC 5128 is a most unusual galaxy, set in Centaurus, a rich part of the southern sky. It was discovered at Paramatta Observatory near Sydney by James Dunlop in 1826. Not only are there plenty of stars here to catch the eye, but the region is rich in galaxies, many of them such as M83, are, like NGC 5128, members of the Centaurus galaxy cluster.

One of the nearer galaxies, at 13 million light years away, NGC 5128 is the most powerful nearby radio source (Centaurus A) and was discovered by Australian radio astronomers in 1947. It is also a copious source of X- and gamma rays as well as visible and infrared radiation. Optically it is predominantly an elliptical galaxy, but crossed by a dark lane of dust. Its light is mainly that of old, cool stars, which is why it appears yellowish on this colour image. Click here for a larger version of this image.

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.     NGC 5128 (Centaurus A) (wide field)
AAT 52.     Detail in the dust lane of NGC 5128
UKS 32a.  The field of NGC 5128 (Centaurus A, portrait format)
n5128_d    NGC 5128, deep image
n5128_ud  NGC 5128, ultra-deep image
Constellation of Centaurus (external site)

For details of object position and photographic exposure, search technical table by UKS reference number.

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Updated by David Malin, 2010, July 25