The elliptical galaxy Centaurus A June 8, 2006Posted by jtintle in Deep Space, Hawaiian Starlight, Space Fotos.
Image data obtained using the MegaCam camera, Copyright © 2004 CFHT
Color image creation by Jean-Charles Cuillandre (CFHT), Copyright © 2004 CFHT
Image optimization and editorial work by Edizioni Scientifiche Coelum
The red stars and ovoid shape of Centuarus A are characteristic of a giant elliptical galaxy, a type usually poor in gas, dust and young stars. The presence of young blue stars and large quantities of gas and dust around the center of the galaxy indicates that a dusty spiral galaxy has been absorbed by this giant elliptical within the past billion years. The nucleus of Centaurus A harbors a massive black hole whose presence is revealed by uncommonly strong radio emission, as well as X-ray radiation.