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Contains:  Centaurus A, NGC 5128

Image of the day 06/12/2020

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    Centaurus A / NGC 5128 / Caldwell 77, 



    
        

            Terry Robison
    Centaurus A / NGC 5128 / Caldwell 77
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    Technical card


    Dates:May 29, 2020

    Frames: 251x900" bin 0x0

    Integration: 62.8 hours

    Avg. Moon age: 6.71 days

    Avg. Moon phase: 42.88%


    Basic astrometry details

    Astrometry.net job: 3561111

    RA center: 13h 25' 28"

    DEC center: -43° 1' 22"

    Pixel scale: 0.803 arcsec/pixel

    Orientation: 98.673 degrees

    Field radius: 0.528 degrees


    Resolution: 3936x2624

    Data source: Own remote observatory

    Remote source: Non-commercial independent facility

    Description

    Centaurus A is the fifth brightest galaxy in our skies. It is located in the constellation of Centaurus, the Southern Hemisphere. The bright central bulge and unique dust lane are excellent targets for amateur visual astronomy observations as they can be seen in finder scopes and with large binoculars. If you are lucky enough to get to a very dark location with the right conditions, it is visible to the naked eye. However, to truly study all of the beautiful details within, astrophotography is the weapon of choice.

    I was fortunate enough to have Connor Matherne contribute an additional 15 hours of Ha data to the 77 X 1200 sec subs of Ha I had committed to this project. It certainly helped with the very noisy Ha component of the data set.

    I imaged this target 5 years ago with the same scope. The only difference was that I would rip everything out of my home observatory in the city and head bush. That was a three-hour task to rip apart, and three hours to assemble, then polar align, calibrate AO and guiding etc, image, and then rip apart and reassemble at home and recalibrate.

    I find the differences between the photos interesting. There are many more stars with this version, and that funky collection of jets are an excellent addition. Mind you, five years ago I only managed to grab 5 hours of data. If your interested, this was my result, mobile setup.

    https://live.staticflickr.com/8758/18318174186_922fbfc8b5_k.jpg

    And setting up my rig:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/22402735436/in/photostream/

    I wanted to retain that bight dirty brown halo extending around the galaxy, and not push it too far and have it become distracting from it’s more natural look. I can just see the lobs of that galaxy halo against the background at both the 1 o’clock and 7 o’clock positions. The jets were difficult as they are very dim and noisy. They seem to have a three-dimensional luminescent quality as they blast outwards into the cosmos.

    Oh I forgot, fun facts,
    • About 12 million light-years away.
    • Peculiar massive elliptical galaxy with a supermassive black hole at its heart.
    • The supermassive black hole is estimated to be of 55 million solar masses.
    • It has an active nucleus which means that matter falls into the supermassive black hole, it then shoots electrons from its poles at the half the speed of light, creating massive jets that spread thousands light years into space.
    • Has the distinction of being the most prominent radio galaxy in the sky.
    • Has active star forming areas along the bluish ridge like areas.

    Exposure Details:
    Lum 58 X 900 Binned 1X1
    Red 20 X 450 Binned 2X2
    Green 24 X 450 Binned 2X2
    Blue 22 X 450 Binned 2X2
    Ha 77 X 1200 RCOS / 33 X 1800 extra hours from Tak TOA (Connor Matherne)
    Total time: 62.7 Hours

    Instruments
    Telescope: 10" Ritchey-Chrétien RCOS
    Camera: SBIG STL-11000 Mono
    Mount: Astro-Physics AP-900
    Focal Length: 2310.00 mm
    Pixel size 9.00 um
    Resolution 0.82 arcsec/pix

    Thanks for looking

    Terry

    Comments

    Author

    trobison
    Terry Robison
    License: None (All rights reserved)
    123921
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    Centaurus A / NGC 5128 / Caldwell 77, 



    
        

            Terry Robison