As the 5th brightest galaxy in our skies, Centaurus A (NGC 5128) is a very popular target both visually as for astrophotography. The galaxy looks like a lenticular or elliptical (yes, there still seems to be debate about this) galaxy with a very distinct disturbed dust lane across. It’s a clear example of a ‘disturbed’ galaxy, one that is the result of two smaller galaxies merging in the past.
When processing the image I noticed that the field of view contains a lot of other interesting faint (and small) galaxies in the background. I must admit that I imaged this object kinda because I felt it’s a ‘must’ under southern skies to do so. However, seeing the result and the interesting background I actually wished I spent more time on this object… Well, another reason to go back I guess! 😉
Since Centaurus A is not that big, I decided to image it with the Nikon D7000 instead of the D600. This gives me a better resolution as well, which is noticeable under the very good Namibian skies with seeing of around 0.4 to 0.8 (according to Meteoblue). With the D7000 on the APM with Riccardi reducer I have a resolution of 1.88 arcsec/pixel (still not that high…), while with the D600 I have 2.34 arcsec/pixel.
I’m under the impression that you can see this quite good when you look at Centaurus A at 100%
I was quite happy with the result I must say, although I really wished I did spent some more time on it as I did suffer from a lot more noise compared to using the D600.
NGC5090/5091 and NGC5082
This image also contains the small interacting galaxies NGC5090 and NGC5091 with NGC5082 close to them in the same fov along with much more faint fuzzies. Should be an interesting area to image with a long focal length!
Centaurus A – acquisition details
Date: July 11
Location: Kiripotib, Namibia
Optics: APM 107/700 triplet with Riccardi 0.75 reducer
Mount: Fornax 51
Camera: Unmodified Nikon D7000
Guiding: Lacerta MGEN
Exposures: 33x7min ISO800