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NGC 4945
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NGC 4945 (also ESO 219-24, IRAS 13025-4911 and PGC 45279) is a magnitude +9.3 edge-on spiral galaxy located near the bright star, Zeta Centauri, 11.7 million light-years away in the constellation Centaurus.

The galaxy was discovered by Scottish astronomer James Dunlop using a  homemade 9-foot 22.86 cm (9 inch) f/12 speculum Newtonian reflector at Paramatta, New South Wales, Australia, on the 29th April 1826.

Right Ascension 13h 05m 27.5s, Declination -49° 28' 06" 

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Title: The X-ray reflector in NGC 4945: a time and space resolved portrait
Authors: A. Marinucci, G. Risaliti, Junfeng Wang, E. Nardini, M. Elvis, G. Fabbiano, S. Bianchi, G. Matt

We present a time, spectral and imaging analysis of the X-ray reflector in NGC 4945, which reveals its geometrical and physical structure with unprecedented detail. NGC 4945 hosts one of the brightest AGN in the sky above 10 keV, but it is only visible through its reflected/scattered emission below 10 keV, due to absorption by a column density of ~4 x 10^24 cm-2. A new Suzaku campaign of 5 observations spanning ~6 months, together with past XMM-Newton and Chandra observations, show a remarkable constancy (within 30-50 pc, well within the imaging capabilities of Chandra at the distance of NGC 4945 (1"~18 pc). Accordingly, the Chandra imaging reveals a resolved, flattened, ~150 pc-long clumpy structure, whose spectrum is fully due to cold reflection of the primary AGN emission. The clumpiness may explain the small covering factor derived from the spectral and variability properties.

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Title: The deeply obscured AGN of NGC4945 I. Spitzer-IRS maps of [Ne V], [Ne II], H2 0-0 S(1), S(2), and other tracers
Authors: J.P. Pérez-Beaupuits (1 and 3), H.W.W. Spoon (2), M. Spaans (3), J.D. Smith (4) ((1) Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, (2) Astronomy Department, Cornell University, (3) Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, (4) Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Toledo)

The nearly edge-on galaxy NGC4945 is one of the closest galaxies where an AGN and starburst coexist, and is one of the brightest sources at 100 keV. Near and mid-infrared spectroscopy have shown very strong obscuration of its central region, rivaled only in strength by some of the most deeply obscured ULIRGs. We aim to determine the spatial distribution of ISM features in the central 426x426 pc^2 of NGC4945. We map the central region of NGC4945 in three Spitzer-IRS modules (SH, SL and LL). We produce maps of the flux distribution of the starburst tracers [Ne II], [Ne III], [S III] and [S IV] at 12.81, 15.56, 18.71 and 10.51 mum, respectively, and a map of the AGN narrow-line region tracer [Ne V] at 14.32 mum. We also mapped the S(1), S(2) and S(3) pure rotational lines of H2, which trace the distribution of warm molecular hydrogen. We obtained an extinction map (A_V) based on the apparent strength of the 9.7 mum silicate absorption feature. Our A_V map traces the contours of the starburst ring but the highest extinction (A_V(9.85 mum)~60) is found at the nucleus. Within the uncertainty of the astrometry all emission lines are found to peak on the nucleus, except for the warm molecular hydrogen emission which shows a maximum 60-100 pc NW of the nucleus. We favour a scenario in which the lower H2 0-0 S(1) and S(2) rotational lines originate mainly from an unobscured extra-nuclear component associated with the super-wind cone observed in the HST NICMOS map of the H2 1-0 S(1) vibrational line. For the [Ne V] emission we infer an attenuation of a factor 12-160 (A_V=55-112) based on a comparison of the ratio of our [Ne V] flux and the absorption-corrected 14-195 keV Swift-BAT flux to the average [Ne V]/BAT ratio for Seyfert 1 nuclei. The high attenuation indicates that [Ne V] and [O IV] cannot be used as extinction-free tracers of AGN power in galaxies with deeply buried nuclei.

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ESO has released a striking new image of a nearby galaxy that many astronomers think closely resembles our own Milky Way
As NGC 4945 is only about 13 million light-years away in the constellation of Centaurus (the Centaur), a modest telescope is sufficient for skygazers to spot this remarkable galaxy. NGC 4945's designation comes from its entry number in the New General Catalogue compiled by the Danish-Irish astronomer John Louis Emil Dreyer in the 1880s. James Dunlop, a Scottish astronomer, is credited with originally discovering NGC 4945 in 1826 from Australia.


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NGC 4945: The Milky Way's not-so-distant Cousin
ESO has released a striking new image of a nearby galaxy that many astronomers think closely resembles our own Milky Way. Though the galaxy is seen edge-on, observations of NGC 4945 suggest that this hive of stars is a spiral galaxy much like our own, with swirling, luminous arms and a bar-shaped central region. These resemblances aside, NGC 4945 has a brighter centre that likely harbours a supermassive black hole, which is devouring reams of matter and blasting energy out into space.

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