Centaurus A (or Cen A for short) is a typical elliptical galaxy. Its unusual name comes from radio astronomy; Centaurus A was the first source of radio waves found in the constellation Centaurus.
This visible light picture shows a dark band running around the perimeter of Cen A. Astronomers believe this is a belt of dust around the galaxy which blocks light from the portions of Cen A behind it.
Photo Credit: David Malin; taken with the 3.9-m Anglo-Australian telescope.
© Anglo-Australian Telescope Board.
The StarChild site is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/ GSFC.
StarChild Authors: The StarChild Team
StarChild Graphics & Music: Acknowledgments
StarChild Project Leader: Dr. Laura A. Whitlock
Responsible NASA Official:
If you have comments or questions about the StarChild site, please send them to us.