Centaurus A

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An active galaxy a mere 10 million light-years away.



A fantastic jumble of young blue star clusters, gigantic glowing gas clouds, and imposing dark dust lanes surrounds the central region of Centaurus A. Hidden at the center of this activity are what seem to be disks of matter spiraling into a black hole with a mass of billion stellar bodies. Centaurus A itself is apparently the result of a collision of two galaxies and the left over debris is steadily being consumed by the black hole. This black hole "central engine" is believed to generate the radio, X-ray, and gamma-ray energy radiated by Centaurus A and other active galaxies.