Centaurus A

Radio Galaxy in Centaurus

Centaurus A LRGB3.jpg

Centaurus A is a radio galaxy located some 10-16 million light years away from the Earth. The light you see in this image is the aggregation of some 100 billion stars that began their journey long before the first humans even walked the Earth. At it's heart lies a supermassive black hole 55 million times the mass of the Sun, and is responsible for generating violent polar jets visible only in radio and X-ray wavelengths. The structure of Centaurus A is also rather peculiar, containing a highly prominent and disturbed dust lane that spans its equator. This odd structure came about due to a collision of two galaxies during its history. 

I am actually quite pleased with this image, even though it's not a particularly superb sample. I shot this from my home window, and I live in an extremely light polluted city. Unlike emission nebulae, astronomical filters cannot be used to improve the contrast of galaxies, and as such is subject to the full brunt of light pollution. I had some rare nights of incredible sky clarity, however, and I was able to pull out a decent amount of detail from the data I obtained. 

Imaging Details

Location: Singapore 
Date(s): May 19
Telescope: APM LZOS 130 at f/4.7
Camera: Atik 16200M, Baader LRGB Filters 
Mount: Losmandy G11/G2 
Total Integration (LRGB): 100:20:12:16

Image reduction, integration and processing with Pleiades Astrophoto PixInsight.