A guide to what's up in the sky for Southern Australia

Galaxy NGC 5128 (1st May 2024)

Galaxy NGC 5128—Centaurus A

Galaxy NGC 5128—Centaurus A NGC 5128 is the nearest large elliptical galaxy to our sun, at a distance of 12.5 million light years. It is also the nearest of the giant radio galaxies, possessing an active galactic nucleus (AGN) and optically one of the most luminous galaxies in the sky.

NGC 5128 is believed to be the result of the merger between 2 galaxies within the last billion years. Strikingly apparent within the galaxy are two major components, a large elliptical structure which generates about 90% of the luminosity and a massive disk of stars, dust and gas.

The odd appearance supports the premise that a large scale merger of an elliptical galaxy with a large barred disk galaxy occurred to form disk galaxy occurred to form NGC 5128