Tales of: History of Centaurus A

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Tales of ...
Key events in the history of Centaurus A
See image below
 

1847: Sir John Herschel was the first to report observations of the galaxy we now know as NGC 5128, or Centaurus A. In his "Outlines of Astronomy," published in 1849, Herschel described it as "two semi-ovals of elliptically formed nebula appearing to be cut asunder and separated by a broad obscure band parallel to the large axis of the nebula, in the midst of which a faint streak of light parallel to the sides of the cut appears."

1848–1949: Despite Herschel's observation, astronomers paid little attention to Centaurus A for about 100 years because they considered it another one of those nebulous, fuzzy objects originally thought to be within our own galaxy. Even Edwin Hubble called it a nebulous object. Later astronomers with more powerful telescopes identified many of these objects as galaxies. Centaurus A also was largely ignored because of the lack of large optical telescopes in the southern hemisphere, where this galaxy can be seen. (Continued >>)

Centaurus A
Centaurus A
Dark lanes of dust encircle the heart of galaxy Centaurus A

 

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Tales of: History of Centaurus A