Hemisphere:  Southern  ·  Constellation: Centaurus (Cen)  ·  Contains:  Centaurus A  ·  NGC 5128

Image of the day 06/12/2020

    Centaurus A / NGC 5128 / Caldwell 77, 


            Terry Robison
    Centaurus A / NGC 5128 / Caldwell 77
    Powered byPixInsight

    Image of the day 06/12/2020

      Centaurus A / NGC 5128 / Caldwell 77, 


            Terry Robison
      Centaurus A / NGC 5128 / Caldwell 77
      Powered byPixInsight

      Technical card

      Imaging cameras: SBIG STL-11000M

      Mounts: AP900GTO Astro Physics

      Guiding telescopes or lenses: RC Optical Systems RCOS 10" Ritchey-Chrétien

      Guiding cameras: AOL + SBIG Remote Guide Head

      Filters: Baader Planetarium H-a  ·  Astrondon Astrodon

      Accessory: FLI CW2-7 Filter wheel 7  ·  SBIG AO-L  ·  SBIG Remote Guide Head

      Dates:May 29, 2020

      Frames: 251x900" (62h 45')

      Integration: 62h 45'

      Avg. Moon age: 6.71 days

      Avg. Moon phase: 42.88%

      Basic astrometry details

      Astrometry.net job: 3561111

      RA center: 13h25m28s

      DEC center: -43°0122

      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


      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.


      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


      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