Centaurus A, Cen A, NGC 5128, Caldwell 77
This galaxy has long been considered an example of an elliptical galaxy disrupted by a recent collision with a smaller-companion spiral galaxy. The black hole in the active nucleus is so dense it contains the mass of about 55 million suns, compacted into a small region of space not much larger than our solar system.
Found in the Centaurus constellation, southern celestial hemisphere
|Distance from Earth||
Approximately 11 million light-years away
"Fast Facts: Centaurus A" is a table that lists the name, description, location, size, and distance of the galaxy from Earth. An image of the galaxy is included.
Use this resource as:
A source of information. Read the table to find out about this object.
A mapping activity. Locate the galaxy's associated constellation on a star map.
A large-number recognition activity. Have students study this table and other galaxy Fast Fact tables. Students can order objects based upon their distances from Earth.
An inquiry tool. Have students write down questions they would like answered about the image and the information in the Fast Facts table.
An engagement tool. Involve students in a discussion.
HubbleSite press release: "Firestorm of Star Birth in the Active Galaxy Centaurus A"
Amazing Space resources by topic: Galaxies
Amazing Space resources by topic: Black holes