Centaurus A


Also found in: Wikipedia.

Centaurus A

An intense radio and X-ray source in the southern constellation Centaurus and a source also of infrared radiation and gamma rays. It is identified with the galaxy NGC 5128 lying at a distance of only 5 megaparsecs from the Solar System, making it the nearest active galaxy. It is an elliptical galaxy, 100 kpc in diameter, cut across by broad belts of gas and dust. A complex elongated radio structure emerges from the center of the gas and dust belts, approximately along their axis of rotation and extending about 400 kpc in each direction. The radio structure consists broadly of two large lobes more or less symmetrically disposed about a central nucleus, from which a jet extends toward one of the lobes. The jet is broken up into a number of knots. This huge radio galaxy, stretching over 9° of the sky, has a flux density at 86 megahertz of 8700 jansky, believed to be synchrotron emission.

Centaurus A is also one of the brightest hard X-ray sources, its spectrum being measured to about 200 kiloelectronvolts. It is also variable on timescales down to a few days, suggesting that most of the X-ray emission arises in the nucleus. An Einstein Observatory image showed not only the bright nucleus but in addition a line of sources, i.e. an X-ray jet, significantly along the axis of the radio lobes. The X-ray emission follows closely the radio jet but extends beyond it into the radio lobe.

Centaurus A

[sen′tȯr·əs ′ā]
(astronomy)
A strong, discrete radio source in the constellation Centaurus, associated with the peculiar galaxy NGC 5128.
References in periodicals archive ?
Tribune News Service DWARF galaxies orbiting the much larger galaxy Centaurus A appear to be moving along the same plane as one another.
Researchers looked at a third large galaxy, Centaurus A - about 13 million light-years away - and found the smaller satellite galaxies that orbit it do so in an orderly, synchronous way.
Astronomers have used two Australian radio telescopes and several optical telescopes to observe a nearby radio galaxy, known as Centaurus A, and to study complex mechanisms that are fuelling jets of material blasting away from a black hole 55 million times more massive than the sun.
Its members include the iconic M83 and Centaurus A (NGC 5128), leading it sometimes to be called the M83/Cen A Group.
Now, astronomers have found that Centaurus A, which is actually an elliptical galaxy, is hiding a gassy spiral in its centre.
At a distance of around 12 million light years away, Centaurus A is the closest large elliptical galaxy to our own Milky Way.
It was found using NASA technology in the Centaurus A galaxy, which is more than 12 million light years away -
Welsh astronomers studying the galaxy say that Centaurus A appears to have swallowed a neighbouring, smaller galaxy, possibly billions of years ago, and is now belching out its remains from an enormous black hole at its centre.
Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- An international team of scientists found a 'normal-size' black hole in the 12 million light year-distant galaxy Centaurus A.
A SPECTACULAR new image of the galaxy, Centaurus A, has been captured by astronomers, revealing the bright glow of young stars and dark ripples of dust.
Washington, Apr 5 ( ANI ): Observations from two of European Space Agency's space telescopes have been combined to create a multi-wavelength view of violent events taking place within the giant galaxy Centaurus A.
Washington, June 17 (ANI): An image taken by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 has revealed a firestorm of star birth in the active galaxy Centaurus A.