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Welcome to NGC5128 or Centaurus A or The Hamburger.
This is a close neighbouring galaxy to the Milky Way. It lies about 12,000,000 Ly distant and is an active galaxy. In the centre of the Galaxy lies a Million Solar Mass Black Hole. The gravity of this enormous black hole attracts the stars and gas in the middle of the galaxy. The gas and stars falling in creates a disc of material which gets superheated due to the compression of the gravity of the black hole. The super hot material radiates its energy in radio and X-rays. The point directly above and below the disc of infalling matter allows for most of the energy to escape in jets. These jets will effect the galaxy itself and as you can see the galaxy appears to be elongated slightly off the vertical. The bark lane across the middle of the galaxy is not the infalling dust and gas. Rather it is the remains of another galaxy that Centaurus A has canablised in the past. The glow of the stars is being blocked from view. This Galaxy is very large by any standard being several times the size of the Milky Way.
This image is a composite of 3 five minutes images taken with a Nikon D300. The camera was attached to a 6" refractor on a mount to compensate for the earths rotation.

Featured in Astrophotography

Tags

astronomy, black hole, coonabarabran, galaxy, nikon, space, stars, telescope

Comments

  • Raquel O'Neill
    Raquel O'Neillalmost 5 years ago

    WOW! this is amazing!

  • Thanks very much Raquel, I think so to.

    – Andrew Murrell

  • Ingrid Funk
    Ingrid Funkalmost 5 years ago

    wonderful!!!!!!!

  • Thank you very much Ingrid.

    – Andrew Murrell

  • Paul Woloschuk
    Paul Woloschukalmost 5 years ago

    Another cracking ‘astro-shot’ Andrew!

  • Thanks Paul.

    – Andrew Murrell

  • Mitchell Tillison
    Mitchell Tillisonalmost 5 years ago

    Oh, lordy, Andrew, what a fantastic image and description. Th univers is a place of unimaginable and frightening immenseness. And stars that eat other galaxies – wow!

  • Galaxies eat other galaxies, Black holes eat anything and everything, Stars join their own version of weight watchers and then usually explode if they dont loose anough mass. There will be stars where the preasure has turned their carbon into diamonds and stars where 1 teaspoon of their material will weigh more than Mt Everest.
    It is a truely amazing place.
    Thanks for the great comment.

    – Andrew Murrell

  • annalisa bianchetti
    annalisa bianc...almost 5 years ago

    Woww…stunning !!!

  • Thank you very much

    – Andrew Murrell

  • Gary Lengyel
    Gary Lengyelalmost 5 years ago

    Wow is right! Outstanding! But isn’t Andromeda closer at 2m LY?

  • Andromeda is part of the Local Group of Galaxies. A group of about 40 galaxies mostly dwarfs that orbit the 2 main members, the Milky way and Andromeda. Yea Andromeda is about 2,000,000 Ly distant.
    The Galaxy Centaurus A is a member of another close group associated with M83, another spiral galaxy a little smaller than our own. this group lies about 12-15,000,000 Ly away.
    Sorry to everyone if it sound a bit like a lecture, I love my Astronomy
    Thanks for a great comment by the way Gary.

    – Andrew Murrell

  • Rick  Friedle
    Rick Friedlealmost 5 years ago

    Awesome shot!

  • Thanks Rick.

    – Andrew Murrell

  • ozzzywoman
    ozzzywomanalmost 5 years ago

    Your description of a black hole sounds like one of my son’s friends! But seriously, this is a most excellent astronomy pic.

  • Sounds a bit like a few peeople I know. One of them has a 5 minute ruke for the ground. Thanks for the support.

    – Andrew Murrell

  • traveller
    travelleralmost 5 years ago

    Love your star shots, Andrew, the explanations are always very informative; its a very facinating subject. I have a good friend and retired professor of astronomy from Bonn university, Ulrich Meybol, we have some wonderfull discussions when he visits.

  • Thanks for the comment I appreciate it.

    – Andrew Murrell

  • Vicki Ferrari
    Vicki Ferrarialmost 5 years ago

    You are just amazing Andrew!! Was this out at Coonabarabran still? (i miss the bush!!! So much!) This is just an incredible image and the information you supply is always so fascinating, the way you tell it….. Fave!

  • I am very flattered there Vicki…
    Yes back out at Coona for this one. Its easy for me to get these style of shots there as my friend has the telescope set up permanetly, so all I do is get the camera attached. A bit of a cheat really.

    – Andrew Murrell

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