Inner structural features seen in this image from ESA's Herschel Space Observatory are helping scientists to understand the mechanisms and interactions within the galaxy.
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Centaurus A All Prettied Up in Infrared and X-Rays

The peculiar galaxy Centaurus A as seen in longer infrared wavelengths and X-rays. Inner structural features seen in this image are helping scientists to understand the mechanisms and interactions within the galaxy, as are the jets seen extending over thousands of light years from the black hole believed to be at its heart. Newly discovered clouds co-aligned with the jets can also be seen in the infrared data, which are colored red and orange. The X-ray image data in this combined picture are shown in blue/cyan/purple and highlight the highly energetic jet region as well as structures that co-align with the infrared and X-ray jet (top left).

Herschel is a European Space Agency cornerstone mission, with science instruments provided by consortia of European institutes and with important participation by NASA. NASA's Herschel Project Office is based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. JPL contributed mission-enabling technology for two of Herschel's three science instruments. The NASA Herschel Science Center, part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, supports the United States astronomical community. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

Image details


Date added:

Herschel Space Observatory

Photoconductor Array Camera and Spectrometer, Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver, XMM-Newton



Full-Res TIFF:
PIA15422.tif (2.68 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA15422.jpg (0.04 MB)

Image credit:
Far-infrared: ESA/Herschel/PACS/SPIRE/C.D. Wilson, MacMaster University, Canada; X-ray: ESA/XMM-Newton/EPIC