Fast Facts: Centaurus A

Fast Facts: Centaurus A
Name Centaurus A, Cen A, NGC 5128, Caldwell 77
Description This galaxy has long been considered an example of an elliptical galaxy disrupted by a recent collision with a smaller-companion spiral galaxy. The black hole in the active nucleus is so dense it contains the mass of about 55 million suns, compacted into a small region of space not much larger than our solar system.
Location Found in the Centaurus constellation, southern celestial hemisphere
Distance from Earth Approximately 11 million light-years away
Centaurus A
The warped disk of gas and dust is evidence for a past galaxy collision. Resulting shock waves cause hydrogen gas clouds to compress, triggering new star formation, seen in the red patches in this Hubble close-up.

Fast Facts: Centaurus A