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ROSAT Guest Observer Facility

Centaurus A

Centaurus A

Image credit: Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (MPE)

The radio galaxy Centaurus A was one of the first radio sources to be identified with an extragalactic object The optical counterpart of the radio source is NGC 5128, an elliptical galaxy whose nucleus is bisected by a prominent dust lane, and whose low redshift (z=0.0008) locates it at a distance of 3.5 Mpc, making it one of the nearest active galactic nuclei (AGN). The proximity of Cen A has allowed detailed studies of structures associated with the galaxy. This HRI observation shows

  • the X-ray nucleus, consistent with the radio/optical nucleus
  • a one-sided X-ray jet consisting of a series of collimated knots, extending out to ~ 6' and located between the nucleus and the north-east radio lobe. These knots appear to be coincident with the knots observed in the radio jet, and are ~ 6 arcsec in radius.
  • enhanced ridges of emission along the edges of the dust lane probably due to a large population of early type stars and H II regions
The bright source evident to the lower right corner of the image is a 14th magnitude foreground M star.
Get the high resolution (300 dpi) TIFF format version.

Curator: Michael Arida (SP Sys); arida@milkyway.gsfc.nasa.gov
HEASARC Guest Observer Facility

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This file was last modified on Thursday, 04-Oct-2007 12:10:10 EDT

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