Centaurus A

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Chandra X-ray
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Centaurus A: An active galaxy at a distance of 10 million light years from Earth.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al)

Caption: In a long Chandra exposure lasting over seven days, Centaurus A reveals the effects of the supermassive black hole at its center. Opposing jets of high-energy particles are seen extending to the outer reaches of the galaxy, and numerous smaller black holes in binary star systems are also visible. In this image, low-energy X-rays are colored red, intermediate-energy X-rays are green, and the highest-energy X-rays detected by Chandra are blue. The dark green and blue bands running almost perpendicular to the jet are dust lanes that absorb X-rays, created when Centaurus A merged with another galaxy perhaps 100 million years ago.

Scale: Image is 16.8 arcmin across.

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory