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.
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