Observation data (J2000 epoch)
13h 25m 27.6s
-43° 01' 09?
547 ± 5 km/s
10–16 Mly (3–5 Mpc)
S0 pec or Ep
Apparent dimensions (V)
25'.7 × 20'.0
Apparent magnitude (V)
Unusual dust lane
NGC 5128, Arp 153, PGC 46957, 4U 1322–42, Caldwell 77
See also: Galaxy, List of galaxies
Centaurus A or NGC 5128 is a prominent galaxy in the constellation of Centaurus. It was discovered in 1826 by Scottish astronomer James Dunlop from his home in Parramatta, in New South Wales, Australia. There is considerable debate in the literature regarding the galaxy's fundamental properties such as its Hubble type (lenticular galaxy or a giant elliptical galaxy) and distance (10–16 million light-years). NGC 5128 is one of the closest radio galaxies to Earth, so its active galactic nucleus has been extensively studied by professional astronomers. The galaxy is also the fifth brightest in the sky, making it an ideal amateur astronomy target, although the galaxy is only visible from low northern latitudes and the southern hemisphere.The center of the galaxy contains a supermassive black hole with a mass equivalent to 55 million solar masses, which ejects a relativistic jet that is responsible for emissions in the X-ray and radio wavelengths. By taking radio observations of the jet separated by a decade, astronomers have determined that the inner parts of the jet are moving at about one half of the speed of light. X-rays are produced farther out as the jet collides with surrounding gases resulting in the creation of highly energetic particles. The radio jets of Centaurus A are over a million light years long.Like other starburst galaxies, a collision is suspected to be responsible for the intense burst of star formation. Models have suggested that Centaurus A was a large elliptical galaxy which collided and merged with a smaller spiral galaxy.
^ a b c d e f g h "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database". Results for Centaurus A. Retrieved 2006-12-06.
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^ a b "Distance Results for NGC 5128". NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
^ Cite error: The named reference ferrarese07 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
^ Cite error: The named reference majaess10 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
^ Cite error: The named reference harris10 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
^ Cite error: The named reference harris10b was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
^ "SIMBAD-A". SIMBAD Astronomical Database. Retrieved 2009-11-29.
^ Armando, Gil de Paz; Boissier; Madore; Seibert; Boselli; et al. (2007). "The GALEX Ultraviolet Atlas of Nearby Galaxies". Astrophysical Journal Supplement 173 (2): 185–255. arXiv:astro-ph/0606440. Bibcode:2007ApJS..173..185G. doi:10.1086/516636.
^ 4U catalog browse version.
^ a b F. P. Israel (1998). "Centaurus A – NGC 5128". Astronomy and Astrophysics Review 8 (4): 237–278. arXiv:astro-ph/9811051. Bibcode:1998A&ARv...8..237I. doi:10.1007/s001590050011.
^ D. J. Eicher (1988). The Universe from Your Backyard. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-36299-7.
^ "Radio Telescopes Capture Best-Ever Snapshot of Black Hole Jets". NASA. Retrieved 2012-10-02.
^ "Astronomy Picture of the Day – Centaurus Radio Jets Rising". NASA. 2011-04-13. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
^ Quillen, A. C.; Brookes, M. H.; Keene, J.; Stern, D.; Lawrence, C. R.; Werner, M. W. (2006). "Spitzer Observations of the Dusty Warped Disk of Centaurus A". The Astrophysical Journal 645 (2): 1092. arXiv:astro-ph/0601135. Bibcode:2006ApJ...645.1092Q. doi:10.1086/504418.