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RE: Centaurus A
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Centaurus A (also known as NGC 5128) is a prominent galaxy in the constellation of Centaurus. There is considerable debate in the literature regarding the galaxy's fundamental properties such as its Hubble type (lenticular galaxy or a giant elliptical galaxy) and distance (10-16 million light-years).
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Spectacular Hubble View of Centaurus A

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has produced a close-up view of the galaxy Centaurus A. Hubble's out-of-this-world location and world-class Wide Field Camera 3 instrument reveal a dramatic picture of a dynamic galaxy in flux.
Centaurus A, also known as NGC 5128, is well known for its dramatic dusty lanes of dark material. Hubble's observations, using its most advanced instrument, the Wide Field Camera 3, are the most detailed ever made of this galaxy. They have been combined here in a multi-wavelength image that reveals never-before-seen detail in the dusty portion of the galaxy.

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Firestorm of Star Birth in the Active Galaxy Centaurus A

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Credit NASA

Resembling looming rain clouds on a stormy day, dark lanes of dust crisscross the giant elliptical galaxy Centaurus A. Hubble's panchromatic vision, stretching from ultraviolet through near-infrared wavelengths, reveals the vibrant glow of young, blue star clusters and a glimpse into regions normally obscured by the dust. This image was taken in July 2010 with Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3.
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Radio Telescopes Capture Best-Ever Snapshot Of Black Hole Jets

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Merging X-ray data (blue) from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory with microwave (orange) and visible images reveals the jets and radio-emitting lobes emanating from Centaurus A's central black hole.
Credit: ESO/WFI (visible); MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A.Weiss et al. (microwave); NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al. (X-ray)

An international team, including NASA-funded researchers, using radio telescopes located throughout the Southern Hemisphere has produced the most detailed image of particle jets erupting from a supermassive black hole in a nearby galaxy.
The new image shows a region less than 4.2 light-years across -- less than the distance between our sun and the nearest star. Radio-emitting features as small as 15 light-days can be seen, making this the highest-resolution view of galactic jets ever made. The study will appear in the June issue of Astronomy and Astrophysics and is available online.
Mueller and her team targeted Centaurus A (Cen A), a nearby galaxy with a supermassive black hole weighing 55 million times the sun's mass. Also known as NGC 5128, Cen A is located about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Centaurus and is one of the first celestial radio sources identified with a galaxy.

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Title: The Cepheids of Centaurus A (NGC 5128) and Implications for H0
Authors: Daniel J. Majaess
(Version, v2)

An analysis based on new OGLE observations reaffirms Ferrarese et al. discovery of 5 Type II Cepheids in NGC 5128. The distance to that comparatively unreddened population is d=3.8±0.4(se) Mpc. The classical Cepheids in NGC 5128 are the most obscured in the extragalactic sample (n=30) surveyed, whereas groups of Cepheids tied to several SNe host galaxies feature negative reddenings. Adopting an anomalous extinction law for Cepheids in NGC 5128 owing to observations of SN 1986G (Rv~2.4) is not favoured, granted SNe Ia may follow small Rv. The distances to classical Cepheids in NGC 5128 exhibit a dependence on colour and CCD chip, which may arise in part from photometric contamination. Applying a colour cut to mitigate contamination yields d~3.5 Mpc (V-I<1.3), while the entire sample's mean is d~3.1 Mpc. The distance was established via the latest VI Galactic Wesenheit functions that include the 10 HST calibrators, and which imply a shorter distance scale than Sandage et al.2004 by ~>10% at P~25d. HST monitored classical Cepheids in NGC 5128, and the SNe hosts NGC 3021 & NGC 1309, follow a shallower VI Wesenheit slope than ground-based calibrations of the Milky Way, LMC, NGC 6822, SMC, and IC 1613. The discrepancy is unrelated to metallicity since the latter group share a common slope over a sizeable abundance baseline (a=-3.34±0.08,d[Fe/H]~1). A negligible distance offset between OGLE Cepheids and RR Lyr variables in the LMC, SMC, and IC 1613 bolsters assertions that VI-based Wesenheit functions are relatively insensitive to chemical abundance. In sum, a metallicity effect (VI) is not the chief source of uncertainty associated with the Cepheid distance to NGC 5128 or the establishment of Hubble's constant, but rather it may be the admittedly challenging task of obtaining precise, commonly standardized, multiepoch, multiband, comparatively uncontaminated extragalactic Cepheid photometry.

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Title: Uncovering the kiloparsec-scale stellar ring of NGC 5128
Authors: J. T. Kainulainen - J. F. Alves - Y. Beletsky - J. Ascenso - J. M. Kainulainen - A. Amorim - J. Lima - R. Marques - A. Moitinho - J. Pinhão - J. Rebordão - F. D. Santos

We reveal the stellar light emerging from the kiloparsec-scale, ring-like structure of the NGC 5128 (Centaurus A) galaxy in unprecedented detail. We use arcsecond-scale resolution near infrared images to create a "dust-free'' view of the central region of the galaxy, which we then use to quantify the shape of the revealed structure. At the resolution of the data, the structure contains several hundreds of discreet, point-like or slightly elongated sources. The typical extinction-corrected surface brightness of the structure is K_S ~ 16.5 mag/arcsec² , and we estimate the total near infrared luminosity of the structure to be M ~ -21 mag. We use diffraction limited FWHM resolution of  ~0.1^{\prime\prime}, or 1.6 pc) near infrared data taken with the NACO instrument on the VLT to show that the structure decomposes into thousands of separate, mostly point-like sources. According to the tentative photometry, the most luminous sources have  M_K ~ -12 mag, making them red supergiants or relatively low-mass star clusters. We also discuss the large-scale geometry implied by the reddening signatures of dust in our near infrared images.

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NGC 5128
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Watching a Cannibal Galaxy Dine
A new technique using near-infrared images, obtained with ESO's 3.58-metre New Technology Telescope (NTT), allows astronomers to see through the opaque dust lanes of the giant cannibal galaxy Centaurus A, unveiling its "last meal" in unprecedented detail - a smaller spiral galaxy, currently twisted and warped. This amazing image also shows thousands of star clusters, strewn like glittering gems, churning inside Centaurus A.
Centaurus A (NGC 5128) is the nearest giant, elliptical galaxy, at a distance of about 11 million light-years. One of the most studied objects in the southern sky, by 1847 the unique appearance of this galaxy had already caught the attention of the famous British astronomer John Herschel, who catalogued the southern skies and made a comprehensive list of nebulae.
Herschel could not know, however, that this beautiful and spectacular appearance is due to an opaque dust lane that covers the central part of the galaxy. This dust is thought to be the remains of a cosmic merger between a giant elliptical galaxy and a smaller spiral galaxy full of dust.
Between 200 and 700 million years ago, this galaxy is indeed believed to have consumed a smaller spiral, gas-rich galaxy - the contents of which appear to be churning inside Centaurus A's core, likely triggering new generations of stars.

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Title: The Distance to NGC 5128 (Centaurus A)
Authors: Gretchen L. H. Harris, Marina Rejkuba, William E. Harris

In this paper we review the various high precision methods that are now available to determine the distance to NGC 5128. These methods include: Cepheids, TRGB (tip of the red giant branch), PNLF (planetary nebula luminosity function), SBF (surface brightness fluctuations) and Long Period Variable (LPV) Mira stars. From an evaluation of these methods and their uncertainties, we derive a best-estimate distance of 3.8 ± 0.1 Mpc to NGC 5128 and find that this mean is now well supported by the current data. We also discuss the role of NGC 5128 more generally for the extragalactic distance scale as a testbed for the most direct possible comparison among these key methods.

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NGC 5128
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Title: The Globular Cluster System of NGC 5128: Ages, Metallicities, Kinematics, and Structural Parameters
Authors: Kristin A. Woodley

We review our recent studies of the globular cluster system of NGC 5128. First, we have obtained low-resolution, high signal-to-noise spectroscopy of 72 globular clusters using Gemini-S/GMOS to obtain the ages, metallicities, and the level of alpha enrichment of the metal-poor and metal-rich globular cluster subpopulations. Second, we have explored the rotational signature and velocity dispersion of the galaxy's halo using over 560 globular clusters with radial velocity measurements. We have also compared the dependence of these properties on galactocentric distance and globular cluster age and metallicity. Using globular clusters as tracer objects, we have analysed the mass, and M/L ratio of NGC 5128. Last, we have measured the structural parameters, such as half-light radii, of over 570 globular clusters from a superb 1.2 square degree Magellan/IMACS image. We will present the findings of these studies and discuss the connection to the formation and evolution of NGC 5128.

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CSIRO astronomers have revealed the hidden face of an enormous galaxy called Centaurus A, which emits a radio glow covering an area 200 times bigger than the full Moon.
The galaxy's radio waves have been painstakingly transformed into a highly detailed image, which is being unveiled to the public for the first time.
Centaurus A lies 14 million light-years away, in the southern constellation Centaurus, and houses a monster black hole 50 million times the mass of the Sun.
The galaxy's black hole generates jets of radio-emitting particles that billow millions of light years out into space.
The spectacular sight is invisible to the naked eye.

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