Only 11 million light-years away, Centaurus A is the closest active galaxy to planet Earth. Spanning over 60,000 light-years, the peculiar elliptical galaxy, also known as NGC 5128, is featured in this sharp color image. Centaurus A is apparently the result of a collision of two otherwise normal galaxies resulting in a fantastic jumble of star clusters and imposing dark dust lanes. Near the galaxy's center, left over cosmic debris is steadily being consumed by a central black hole with a billion times the mass of the Sun. As in other active galaxies, that process likely generates the radio, X-ray, and gamma-ray energy radiated by Centaurus A (text adapted from APOD).
Apo TEC140 (140/f7.2) - FLI Proline 16803 - L (560m) R (60m) G (80m) B (80m) - Warrumbungle Observatory, Coonabarabran, NSW, Australia
Big, bright, and beautiful, spiral galaxy M83 lies a mere twelve million light-years away, near the southeastern tip of the very long constellation Hydra. Prominent spiral arms traced by dark dust lanes and blue star clusters lend this galaxy its popular name of the Southern Pinwheel. But reddish star forming regions that dot the sweeping arms highlighted in this sparkling color composite also suggest another nickname, The Thousand-Ruby Galaxy. About 40,000 light-years across, M83 is a member of a group of galaxies that includes active galaxy Centaurus A. The core of M83 itself is bright at x-ray energies, showing a high concentration of neutron stars and black holes left from an intense burst of star formation. Above the galaxy is visible a very faint curved tidal stream first seen by David Malin in an image produced at the Anglo-Australian Observatory (his original work visible here). Recent researches suggest that this structure is most probably part of a very far and faint spiral arm belonging to M83. This deep image also features spiky foreground Milky Way stars and many distant background galaxies (text adapted from APOD).
Apo TEC140 (140/f7.2) - FLI Proline 16803 - Ha (210m) L (360m) R (160m) G (160m) B (170m) - Warrumbungle Observatory, Coonabarabran, NSW, Australia
Portuguese navigator Fernando de Magellan and his crew had plenty of time to study the southern sky during the first circumnavigation of planet Earth. As a result, two fuzzy cloud-like objects easily visible for southern hemisphere skygazers are known as the Clouds of Magellan. Of course, these star clouds are now understood to be dwarf irregular galaxies, satellites of our larger spiral Milky Way galaxy. An alluring sight in dark southern skies, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) pictured above is only about 180,000 light-years distant in the constellation Dorado. Spanning about 15,000 light-years or so, it is the most massive of the Milky Way's satellite galaxies and is the site of the closest supernova in modern times. The prominent red knot on the left is 30 Doradus, or the Tarantula Nebula, a giant star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, particularly well visible here because of the use in the final images stack of a narrow band filter that transmits only the red light of hydrogen atoms. (Text adapted from APOD).
More than 73 hours of total exposures went into this 4 panels mosaic covering about 140 square degrees of sky.
Pentax 67 EDIF 300mm f/4 - FLI Proline 16803 - Ha (1200m) OIII (820m) L (960m) R (470m) G (480m) B (490m) - Warrumbungle Observatory, Coonabarabran, NSW, Australia