The peculiar galaxy Centaurus A is pictured in this image taken with by the Wide Field Imager at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. With a total exposure time of more than 50 hours, this is probably the deepest view of this peculiar and spectacular object every created. Caption and photo courtesy of the ESO
Centaurus A is one of our favorite galaxies. We’ve written about it a couple of times and it was also featured not too long ago in our Photo of the Week feature (Click here for that image). This image, however, is far better than the last. It is, after all, the deepest view of the galaxy every created, according to a release from the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
According to the release:
Astronomers think that the bright nucleus, strong radio emission and jet features of Centaurus A are produced by a central black hole with a mass of about 100 million times that of the Sun.
Supermassive Black Hole!
Matter from the dense central parts of the galaxy releases vast amounts of energy as it falls towards the black hole. This Wide Field Imager (WFI) picture allows us to appreciate the galaxy’s elliptical nature, which shows up as the elongated shape of the fainter outer parts. The glow that fills much of the picture comes from hundreds of billions of cooler and older stars.
Check out our past Photo of the Week winners here.