The radio galaxy Centaurus A, as seen by ALMA

Eso_eso1222a_500

eso_eso1222a May 31st, 2012

Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); Y. Beletsky (LCO)/ESO

This new image of Centaurus A combines ALMA and near-infrared observations of the massive elliptical radio galaxy. The new ALMA observations, shown in a range of green, yellow and orange colours, reveal the position and motion of the clouds of gas in the galaxy. They are the sharpest and most sensitive such observations ever made. ALMA was tuned to detect signals with a wavelength around 1.3 millimetres, emitted by molecules of carbon monoxide gas. The motion of the gas in the galaxy causes slight changes to this wavelength, due to the Doppler effect. The motion is shown in this image as changes in colour. Greener features trace gas coming towards us while more orange features depict gas moving away. We can see that the gas to the left of the centre is moving towards us, while the gas to the right of the centre is moving away from us, indicating that the gas is orbiting around the galaxy. The ALMA observations are overlaid on a near-infrared image of Centaurus A obtained with the SOFI instrument attached to the ESO New Technology Telescope (NTT).

Image Source: http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1222a/

Curator: European Southern Observatory, Garching bei München, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Centaurus A
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy » Activity » AGN
Eso_eso1222a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 13h 25m 26.7s
DEC = -43° 1’ 8.1”
Orientation
North is 0.2° CW
Field of View
4.1 x 4.1 arcminutes
Constellation
Centaurus

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue New Technology Telescope (NTT) (SofI) Infrared (J) -
Arrow_left_green New Technology Telescope (NTT) (SofI) Infrared (H) -
Arrow_left_red New Technology Telescope (NTT) (SofI) Infrared (K) -
Eso_eso1222a_1280
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ID
eso1222a
Subject Category
C.5.3.2  
Subject Name
Centaurus A
Credits
ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); Y. Beletsky (LCO)/ESO
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1222a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
New Technology Telescope (NTT), New Technology Telescope (NTT), New Technology Telescope (NTT)
Instrument
SofI, SofI, SofI
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Red
Band
Infrared, Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
J, H, K
Central Wavelength
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
201.361048715, -43.0189137818
Reference Dimension
1225.0, 1225.0
Reference Pixel
612.0, 612.0
Scale
-5.56111225609e-05, 5.56111225609e-05
Rotation
-0.16000000000000006
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
European Southern Observatory
URL
http://www.eso.org/
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
City
Garching bei München
State/Province
Postal Code
D-85748
Country
Germany
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
Publisher
European Southern Observatory
Publisher ID
eso
Resource ID
eso1222a
Metadata Date
2012-05-29T10:01:56+02:00
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

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There is no distance meta data in this image.