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CSIRO astronomers reveal a 'blue whale of space'

CSIRO Media Release – 3 July 2009
Ref 09/111
A composite image showing the size of the radio glow from the galaxy Centaurus A in comparison to the full Moon. The white dots in the sky represent not stars but background radio sources – galaxies like Centaurus A in the distant universe. The foreground antennas are of CSIRO's Australia Telescope Compact Array, which gathered the data for the Centaurus A image. Particles emitting radio waves stream millions of light-years into space from the heart of the galaxy Centaurus A in this picture made by CSIRO. Data for the image was gathered with CSIRO's Australia Telescope Compact Array and Parkes radio telescope: the frequency of the radio waves was 1.4 GHz. The smallest structure visible in the image is 680 parsecs (210 light-years) across : the scale bar represents 50,000 parsecs (about 163,000 light-years). The white dots are not stars but background radio sources, each a huge galaxy like Centaurus A in the distant universe.

Image credit – Ilana Feain, Tim Cornwell & Ron Ekers (CSIRO/ATNF). ATCA northern middle lobe pointing courtesy R. Morganti (ASTRON), Parkes data courtesy N. Junkes (MPIfR). Photo of the ATCA and Moon: Shaun Amy, CSIRO.

Image credit – Ilana Feain, Tim Cornwell & Ron Ekers (CSIRO/ATNF). ATCA northern middle lobe pointing courtesy R. Morganti (ASTRON), Parkes data courtesy N. Junkes (MPIfR).
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